Sarasota County Commissioner Joe Barbetta announced he is running for Sarasota City Commission in District 2.

“I am excited to again have the opportunity to serve this community I love so much," said Barbetta. "There is no doubt our city has some serious challenges ahead and I feel my years of experience can make a difference.”

He's the sixth candidate to jump into the race, Most notably, he's challenging incumbent Commissioner Liz Alpert, who was elected to the seat in 2015. Also in the race are Ascend Wireless Networks Don Patterson, former City Commissioner Terry Turner, retired commodities trader Jerry Wells and Gulf Business Systems President Martin Hyde.

Barbetta brings political connections from two terms on the County Commission, where he was first elected in 2006 and won reelection in 2010. During his time on that board, he worked on a number of sports tourism efforts including negotiating a 30-year spring training deal with the Baltimore Orioles and turning Nathan Benderson Park into a world-class rowing venue. 

Before his election to county office, Barbetta served on and chaired the county Planning Board.