Coe Enters County Commission Contest



Alexandra Coe spent years working to shift political conversation from the outside, but now wants to change things within the Republican Party. An organizer for the planned Republican Liberty Caucus of Sarasota County, Coe announced last week she will run for Sarasota County Commission in District 2. “I’m going to put myself out there and see what happens,” she says.

It’s not the first time she’s sought the post. She ran four years ago as an independent, losing to Republican Paul Caragiulo. Coe’s also been involved in the past with Libertarian politics in the area. She’s never lost her interest in the county post, she says, but now wants to work within the party with the strongest voice in local politics. 

Coe moved to Sarasota County in 1995 and founded the Community Green Charter School in 2010. She said the county has largely lost its way and ignores principles of the 2050 Comprehensive Plan adopted in 2000, choosing instead to continue with sprawling subdivisions built with a dated planning model. An anthropologist with experience working on United Nations committees, she’d like a better long-term vision.

She’s also trying to change the way people campaign. “Traditional fundraising is more about an elite group of people who have a habit of contributing. You romance them and make them supporters,” she says. Instead, she’d like to fund her campaign with small donations.

Coe last year had considered running in a special state House election but ultimately did not qualify. She considered running for that seat in November, and she also wondered if recent problems she’s having with county government regarding flooding on her east Sarasota County property would impact the race. But ultimately, Coe decided the open county commission seat was calling her. “It’s something I want to do,” she says. “But when I ran in ’14, I was running as the people’s commissioner, and I will be running on that again. It’s not about me, and that’s where politicians get confused. I want to be a public servant.”

Coe will face Sarasota County Republican State Committeeman Christian Ziegler in the August 28 primary. The winner will face Democrat Ruta Jouniari in the Nov. 6 general election.

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