Wayne Poston, four-term mayor of Bradenton, can claim one more election victory with this list. For the second year in a row readers picked this pol as the most popular in Manatee, with our voters crediting him with every advancement from the Riverwalk to the opening of craft beer places in town. In the runner-up position, Manatee County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh has a strong showing. Of course, both elected officials have an even more important election ahead of them when they face voters in November, but regardless, they always have Best of SRQ Local.  

Amanda Horne (on Poston): Mayor Poston’s vision for a revitalized downtown core has led to the renaissance of the city. From the businesses on Old Main Street to the incredible Riverwalk project with the resulting festivals such as the Bradenton Blues Festival and Bradenton Area Regatta, the Farmers Markets, the Village of the Arts—Bradenton has become a thriving, vibrant community once again that is also drawing a younger demographic. Joy Randels (on Poston): I met him at a community function before the new Riverwalk was constructed. Wayne is personable and takes the time to listen to the members of the community. He has done a great job of balancing the demographic changes in our community, embracing everyone from teenagers to retirees. Rusty Russell (on Poston): I worked with Wayne Poston for many years and know that he is ethical and determined to make Bradenton a better place to live. He is the best choice because he knows the city and people better than anyone. Brian Palmer (on Vanessa Baugh): Commissioner Baugh offers a great deal of integrity and compassion for the businesses and individuals that she serves. She simply treats others like she would like to be treated as a business owner and a taxpayer in our community. She and her husband are business owners and taxpayers, so I guess it all makes sense. Angela Massaro-Fain (on Baugh): Honest and committed to everything she does, she makes every effort to make change only for the good of our community. An absolute asset to her constituents, Commissioner Baugh has fought hard for Lakewood Ranch and for a sound government.