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Assistant Pro­fessor of Eco­nomics Peter Jen­nings has joined City of Hillsdale Ward I res­i­dents Ted Jansen and Dennis Wain­scott as a can­didate to fill in the city council vacancy left by Ward I City Coun­cilman Brian Watkins’ res­ig­nation.

According to City Clerk Stephen French, Jansen and Jen­nings have com­pleted the paperwork to be listed on the ballot in the fall election. Wain­scott has not yet turned in the paperwork, but told The Col­legian that he plans to seek Watkins’ seat.

Since Jen­nings is the third can­didate to fill the paperwork, a primary election will be held in August to narrow the ballot down to two can­di­dates, according to Mayor Adam Stockford.

Watkins resigned at a March 5 city council meeting, emailing his letter of res­ig­nation to Mayor Adam Stockford. According to Watkins,  his job as a trav­elling public rela­tions officer for Toyota is “no longer allowing me to provide the con­nected and engaged rep­re­sen­tation the cit­izens of Ward 1 need or deserve.” Since the beginning of his 2015 term, Watkins rou­tinely missed council meetings — as excused absences — due to a work and travel con­flicts.

Both Jansen and Wain­scott have sought this seat before, first in the fall of 2015 and then this past fall. Both times they were defeated by the third can­didate. Watkins won in 2015 and Ward I Greg Stuchell won in 2017.

Wain­scott told the Col­legian that he keeps seeking this seat because he believes that he can help the com­munity.

“I don’t want to be a dependent. I want to be an asset,” he said.

Wain­scott said his goal is to raise people from depen­dency to inde­pendent and self-sus­tained living.

“I believe that working with city and on council, I can be better equipped to reach out and help the people that need it,” he said.

Jen­nings could not be reached for comment.