Sweat, who announced earlier this month that he would not run for re-election, had encourage his long-time assistant to run to succeed him. Sweat has been in office for 27 years, and will retire at the end of the year.
In an email to the Bradenton Herald's Sara Kennedy, Bignell said she had decided not to run:
I have been giving considerable thought as to whether or not I should run for Supervisor of Elections. I have received encouragement from Bob Sweat and so many members of the community to continue my career with the elections office. The decision has been very difficult for me as I have been with the elections office for 20 years and have enjoyed what I do; but at this point in my life I feel that it is in my best personal interest to retire at the end of Bob’s current term. I want to thank all the people that have encouraged me and pledged support for my candidacy, but I am not a candidate for Supervisor of Elections.So far, Bradenton businessman Rodney P. Smithley, a Republican, is the only announced candidate for the position.