Monday, February 20, 2012

Manatee commissioners' election year plans are set

Manatee County Commissioner Joe McClash's announcement late Friday that he would be running for re-election means all four incumbent commissioners have revealed their plans for this election year:

  • McClash, a Republican, currently faces two GOP challengers, former county planner Betsy Benac and business owner Paul Stehle, in the race for the at-large District 7 seat.
  • Larry Bustle, a Republican, currently faces a Democrat challenger, former Manatee County sheriff's deputy Corie Holmes, in District 1, which is comprised of Palmetto, Ellenton and Parrish.
  • John Chappie, a Republican, is currently the only candidate in District, which includes most of Bradenton and Anna Maria Island.

As for Donna Hayes, the fourth incumbent whose term ends this year, she announced last month that she would not be running for re-election in District 5, which is comprised of East Manatee, including Lakewood Ranch. She had earlier entered the race, dropped out and re-entered the race.

The Manatee County supervisor of elections' website currently lists Hayes as an official candidate.

The announced candidates are Republican businesswoman Vanessa Baugh; and Democrat James Golden, a former member of the Bradenton City Council.

There is plenty of time for other candidates to enter the race.

The qualifying period, during which candidates can file petitions or pay a filing fee to get on the ballot, is June 3-8.

Primary elections are Aug. 14, and the general election is Nov. 6.

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