Poston, Eddie Departures Open City Election Possibilities

Todays News

BY JACOB OGLES SRQ DAILY MONDAY BUSINESS EDITION MONDAY JUN 15, 2020

Qualification week brought surprises in municipal contests in Sarasota and Manatee counties, most notably with the retirement of longtime Bradenton Mayor Wayne Poston. That will mean a new mayor for the first time in 20 years after the November elections. Council members Gene Brown and Harold Byrd, Jr. both qualified to run for the seat, as did educator Dimitrie Denis.

“I know we can keep taxes low, manage growth effectively and allow Bradenton’s story of prosperity to continue,” Brown said.

“I am running for the Mayor of Bradenton. The city is poised to make great strides in the areas of redevelopment and providing economic development opportunities and jobs,” said Byrd.

A candidate message from Denis called him a “pro-business constitutionalist who believes in fiscal responsibility.”

Jayne Kocher won the Ward 1 seat unopposed to succeed Gene Gallo. Pamela Coachman and Keenan Wooten will run for Byrd’s Ward 5 seat. So manay changes will hit City Hall regardless.

In Sarasota, Kyle Scott Battie is challenging Willlie Shaw in District 1. In District 2, Liz Albert ultimately must face five opponents: Joe Barbetta, Martin Hyde, Don Patterson, Terry Turner and Jerry Wells.

The open District 3 seat, where Shelli Freeland Eddie did not file for reelection, saw a last-minute entry by Rob Grant, an active member of the Arlington Park Neighborhood Association. He joins Dan Clermont and Erik Arroyo in seeking the spot on the Commission.

"I feel like the vice of the people is often not listened to," Grant said. "I believe it needs to be heard better downtown. I spend a lot fo tiem talking to neighbors and other city resients. I'm here to serve as a conduit to get those ideas down to City Hall and create action." 

In North Port, Commissioner Debbie McDowell faces a challenge from Jerry Nicastro. For the two open seats, David Iannotti, Richard Suggs and Nicholas Trolli battle in District 1, while Chaeryl Cook, Barbara Langdon and Debbie McDowell compete in District 2.

Pictured: Harold Byrd, Gene Brown, Dimitrie Denis

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