Winooski City Councilors Kristine Lott and Eric Covey both announced Tuesday they will run for mayor.
The news came one day after Mayor Seth Leonard announced he would step down before his term is up to avoid any conflicts of interest involving his new job with the Vermont Housing Finance Agency. His term would have run until 2021.
Both contenders for the part-time job are relatively new to the city council. Neither is running with a party affiliation.
Lott was elected in March, and Covey was elected in 2017.
Lott is a business analyst. As mayor, she would use her professional background in operations and data analysis, Lott said in a campaign announcement.
"I believe in fiscal responsibility, investment in our neighborhoods and infrastructure, maintaining affordable housing, and transparency in operations," the announcement read.
Covey is chief of staff for Secretary of State Jim Condos. He said in an interview Tuesday that his day job gives him a strong understanding of governance. He would strive to ensure development occurs at a measured pace that protects and promotes affordable housing.
"I will work to bring the voices of all Winooski residents to the table," Covey said.
After Leonard steps down January 28, Councilor Nicole Mace will fill in as interim mayor until a new mayor is elected in March. She has said she will not run for the position, and she will give up her council slot when her term ends in March.
Counting the mayor, there are five people on the Winooski City Council, including Hal Colston.
As his colleagues made their intentions known, Colston said Tuesday he was not jumping into the race for mayor. Instead, he plans to make a run for the state legislature in 2020, and in the meantime he will focus on council work. "I'm not going anywhere," Colston said.