HUNTINGTON — Huntington City Council member Alex Vence resigned from his seat Tuesday, citing greater demands to balance his city duties and his personal life.
Vence, a Democrat, represented the city’s District 3, which includes downtown from 1st to 18th streets between the Ohio River and 8th Avenue. He was elected in 2016 and his term expires Dec. 31.
In a letter sent to City Council Chairman Mark Bates on Tuesday, Vence said the decision to resign was not easy to make, but he feels like it is the correct one after some deliberation.
“To quote the great philosopher, George Costanza, ‘It’s not you, it’s me.’ Much has changed in my personal and business life since being elected,” Vence wrote. “These changes require that I assess and reconcile demands on my time and attention.”
Vence said the arrival of a second child has made it more challenging to balance work and family life.
“My resignation will not diminish my support for the city of Huntington, nor any person, group or organization that is working for the betterment of this amazingly resilient community,” he wrote.
The city will accept applications to replace Vence until 4:30 p.m. Feb. 26 at Huntington City Hall. Council members will take two days to review and qualify candidates. They will then hold interviews and select his replacement during a special meeting held during the first week of March.
To be eligible, candidates must be residents of District 3, hold no other public office and agree to remain a resident of the district during the term of office.
Bates said he was “sadly” accepting Vence’s resignation and thanked him for his service to the city.
“Alex brought a refreshing, articulate and thoughtful dynamic to City Council that will be missed,” Bates said. “I wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
Vence was elected in 2016 after defeating Bob Garza in the Democratic primary and the late Pete Gillespie Sr. in the general election that November. Vence went on to serve as council vice chairman from 2018 to 2019 and chaired the city’s Public Safety Committee.
He also served on the Administration and Finance Committee and the Planning and Zoning Committee.
Vence is a real estate developer who converted the 90-year-old West Virginia Building on 4th Avenue into luxury rental apartments.
Four people have applied to run for Vence’s seat in the 2020 city elections. Samuel McGuffin, Aaron-Michael Fox, Torrance “Terry” Houck and Tia “Fix” Rumbaugh have all applied to run as Democrats.