Tracey Zudans, former Hospital District trustee, joins Vero Beach City Council race

Gun Rights

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Former Indian River County Hospital District TrusteeTracey Zudans wants to follow in her husband’s previous footsteps. 

Zudans, wife of former Mayor Val Zudans, is among three candidates who has have filed to run for the Vero Beach City Council. Two seats, currently held by Vice Mayor Rey Neville and Dick Winger, are up for election Nov. 2.

Friday is the deadline for candidates to qualify.

More: Tracey Zudans resigns from Indian River County Hospital District board; DeSantis may fill seat

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Winger was appointed in April to fill the seat vacated by Joe Graves when he resigned. At the time of his appointment, Winger pledged not to run in November for a full term. 

Other candidates so far in the nonpartisan election are city Utilities Commissioner John Cotugno, who has twice run unsuccessfully for the council, and Taylor Jack Dingle, president/founder of the Vero Beach Young Republican Club. 

While agreeing it’s understandable some will compare her to her husband, Zudans said the two have different styles. 

“I tend to be more of a consensus builder and collaborator. We both are very passionate about our community, we share similar fiscally conservative values and the desire to seek public private relationships when they benefit the taxpayers,” Zudans said in an email. “There are definitely similarities, but we are each our own person and should be judged accordingly.”

Val Zudans was criticized by those opposed to his business approach, such as considering closing the Leisure Square pool and selling city property such as the downtown post office. He also was criticized for a letter he sent to the City and County of San Francisco Board of Supervisors blasting its stance against the National Rifle Association.

More: Vero Beach mayor calls San Francisco ‘garbage,’ blasts resolution against NRA ‘terrorism’

More: Damien Gilliams is running for Sebastian City Council, but it’s probably not who you think

Colleen Wixon is the Indian River County government watchdog reporter. Contact her at colleen.wixon@tcpalm or 772-978-2235.

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