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Sunday, Nov 18, 2018
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Burgess wants to be mayor of Zephyrhills

ZEPHYRHILLS - Danny Burgess, the youngest person ever elected to the City Council, has picked up paperwork to run for mayor. Burgess was elected to the council in 2005, becoming council president and in 2008 resigning to attend law school. He is a lawyer with the Hudgens Law Firm in Zephyrhills. He was unavailable for comment because he is serving with the Army in Georgia. Last month, Steve Van Gorden resigned as mayor rather than fight impeachment proceedings. Van Gorden, 37, who was elected in April to the largely ceremonial post of mayor, faced accusations of sexual harassment in his job as Zephyrhills High School principal. Van Gorden quit as principal in November and resigned as president of the Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce.
The winner of the election will fill the remainder of Van Gorden's two-year term, which ends in April 2014. Burgess' campaign treasurer, his mom, picked up the paperwork. If Burgess gets 25 Zephyrhills voters to sign his petition, he will qualify to be on the municipal ballot April 9. Others who have picked up petitions are Kenneth Compton, the council president, and council members Charlie Proctor and Lance Smith. All three are seeking re-election. In 2005, 18-year-old Burgess became the youngest person elected to the council. He left the council at the age of 22 to begin law school. Burgess made waves in 2006 when news surfaced that the University of South Florida student was spending most of his time at an off-campus apartment in Tampa, not at his parents' house in Zephyrhills. The city charter requires elected officials to live in the city, but the city attorney backed Burgess' position that his parents' house was his permanent address. He moved back to Zephyrhills full time in July 2007.
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