Moore, Boldt win in Venice, Manatee tax renewed

Todays News

Manatee County voters kept a tax in place. Venice voters kept a City Council member at the dais. Bradenton Beach reelected its mayor and Holmes Beach voters retained two incumbents while bringing another out of retirement. In a sense, the off year elections on Tuesday evening maintained a status quo, and yet sent a clear message on the state of public opinion.

In Manatee County, a referendum to extend a property tax funding teacher salaries passed with more than 69% of the vote. That’s a resounding victory, all the more noticeable after an aggressive campaign against it by local Republican leaders and a few years after a bare 51% of voters approved the tax in the first place.

“I don’t think anybody expected us to hit nearly 70%,” said School Board Chair Charlie Kennedy. “It goes to show you even with a vocal minority and a disinformation campaign against you, the voters are very smart. This community, across party lines and ideologies, recognized having an extra minute of school and having a competitive school district with competitive pay for our employees is worth investing in.”

Meanwhile, it was Republican leaders celebrating in Sarasota County. Venice City Council member Helen Moore won reelection while businessman Jim Boldt won the race for an open seat on the Council, both with the support of the Republican Party of Sarasota. “We thumped them,” said Jack Brill, acting RPOS chair, of opponents.

Moore said she was excited to win a second term. “I’m excited for Jim too,” she said. “I’m a proven leader and I think Jim is going to be stellar.”

Boldt felt honored by the win and thanked the community for the support as he came out on top of a field of three candidates. “It helps to have a lot of people behind you,” he said. “I was fortunate to have people jump in, stand at polling places and help get ideas out there.”

Bradenton Beach Maayor John Chappie won another term. And in Holmes Beach, voters reelected Commissioners Terry Schaefer and Carol Soustek, and returned former Commissioner Pat Morton to an open seat. The top three vote-getters in the Holmes Beach race win seats.

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