The quest to fill the open District 2 seat on the Ocala City Council will require a fourth election.
That’s because none of the three candidates running in Tuesday’s special election received the required 50 percent plus one of the vote needed to secure the seat that was vacated by longtime Councilwoman Mary Sue Rich. Ire Bethea Sr. garnered 47.37 percent of the ballots, or 3,221 votes. Lonnie Hooks III tallied 27.78 percent, or 1,889 votes. And Ronald E. Landers Jr. nabbed 24.84 percent, or 1,689 votes.
That means Bethea and Hooks will square off in a runoff election that will be held on May 19. The winner of that race would be seated at the June 2 City Council meeting.
Tuesday’s special election was needed because it was discovered that the initial winner of the District 2 seat in November, Tyrone Eugene Oliver Jr., was a convicted felon. The City Council refused to seat him in December and called for the special election to fill the vacant seat.