With all of the recent changes at City Hall — including a new city manager and police chief — residents of South Padre Island will head to the polls on May 4 for a special election to chose a new mayor to fill the unexpired term of Mayor Dennis Stahl, who is not seeking re-election.

Voters will be able to select from these three candidates:

Clayton Brashear

With more than 35 years of business experience and serving on various local boards and committees, longtime Island resident and owner of Clayton’s Beach Bar and Grill Clayton Brashear believes he is “the most qualified candidate to serve as mayor of South Padre Island.”

“I have chosen to run for mayor because I feel it is time to come together as a community and place ourselves in the right direction,” Brashear said.

Brashear believes residents should consider voting for him because he is a “visionary, dependable and hardworking Island resident.”

“Unlike my opponents, I have many years of both development and hospitality business experience on South Padre Island,” Brashear said.

Darla Jones

Recently retired from the City of South Padre Island where she worked for nine years as Assistant City Manager and twice as Interim City Manager, longtime Island resident Darla Jones decided to run for mayor because she “intends to continue the progress that’s been made over the last several years.”

Prior to working with the City of South Padre Island, Jones worked with the cities of Harlingen, Pharr and La Feria.

“My entire career of more than 28 years has been in municipal government and I recently retired,” Jones said. “My education, experience, background and accomplishments make me the best candidate for the position.”

Jones believes residents should consider voting for her because she is “familiar with the budget, laws, policies, people, and projects of the city better than any other candidate.”

“If elected, I’m ready to go on day one. There’s no learning curve,” Jones said. “Also, over my career in municipal government, I’ve developed positive working relationships with other agencies the city deals with so it’s easier to keep progress moving forward.”

Patrick McNulty

Longtime Island resident and owner of Willis Development construction company Patrick McNulty decided to run as mayor “to bring the residents back to a common ground with the hope of hiring a great city manager that will run the Island professionally.”

“I feel that we have departed from the charter that is the blueprint for our government,” McNulty said.

McNulty has been working on the Island since 1997, is a founding partner in SPI Rentals, a partner in Troy Giles Realty & Management and is currently serving on Island board committees.

He believes voters should consider voting for him because he “cares greatly for the Island and the community.”

“I am a great listener and mediator who understands there are multiple sides to any issue,” McNulty said. “All sides need to be heard so that we as a City Council can take appropriate action.”

McNulty said he understands the city charter and its specific roles of the mayor and council.

“We are a strong city manager form of government, which requires council to let the city manager operate the Island, and us at council to listen to the citizens and help form policies to further direct the city manager.”

McNulty said he is humbled by the support of the citizens and realizes the trust that they place in elected officials to do their best for all concerned.

The Valley Morning Star will be providing all candidates a questionnaire regarding their platform, which will be published closer to Election Day.