Seven people have applied to fill the vacant city council member position in Casper's Ward II on the city's west side, according to a news release from the Casper City Manager's Office late Monday afternoon.

They are Ken Bates, Lauri Gobble, Monte Henrie, Jr., Tim Kugler, Dallas Laird, Grace Niemitalo, and Paul Paad.

They filed before the 5 p.m. deadline today. Earlier today, only two people had submitted their applications.

The position was vacated when Councilmember Todd Murphy resigned April 5. Murphy was elected in the November general election.

Ward II is generally located between South Poplar Street on the east and River West on the west.

The Casper City Council now will review the applications, set times for interviews and select Murphy's replacement by the end of the month. The position will be eligible for re-election in November 2018.

Council members probably will ask questions about the candidates' backgrounds, why they want to serve on the city council, how their  qualifications can benefit the city, their willingness to run for re-election, and their ability to meet the time commitments of council and board meetings.

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