Martin Hyde Makes Fresh Run at City Seat

Todays News


Martin Hyde came in third place running for an at-large Sarasota City Commission race, one place short of earning a spot on the board. Now, he hopes to correct some mistakes of the last election cycle as he runs for a District 2 seat.

“I got caught up in the personalities,” he said of his 2017 run. “This time I am going to work for my ideas.”

Those ideas will be familiar to those who have tuned in to any Sarasota City Commission meeting for the past three and a half years. Hyde has become a regular speaker during citizen comments, often issuing criticisms of city spending and commission policy.

But the city activist doesn’t consider himself a candidate running against City Hall. “I’ve got nothing against city staff. I don’t feel like it’s them against us,” he said. “Other than the police chief and the city manager, I have good relationships with the people who are working there.”

Even there, Hyde said his chief gripe with city administration is more about the dynamic. He feels City Commissioners too often defer to staff recommendations, allowing City Manager Tom Barwin to drive policy when it’s those who appear on ballots who are accountable to voters. He promises more lively debate and voicing of dissent should he land at the dais. 

He’s also running a longer campaign this time. He’s facing Terry Turner and Jerry Wells right now. Incumbent City Commissioner Liz Alpert has not yet filed.

Like many, Hyde wonders what it will be like running for commission while a presidential election rages around voters, He expects reaching voters needs to happen sooner than later. But he believes candidates who appeared on the ballot before have an advantage in name recognition that could prove more valuable than ever.

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