Richard O'Brien will officially kick off his campaign to become Bradenton's mayor by taking his "mobile campaign headquarters" -- a London-built double-decker bus -- to city hall at noon Wednesday.
The bus, according to O'Brien, will make it possible for him to keep a campaign promise to visit every neighborhood in the city, as he seeks to unseat Mayor Wayne Poston.
“By visiting every neighborhood and listening to the voters I hope to bring a new vision and perspective to the office of the mayor,” O'Brien said in a statement issued by his Tampa-based political consultant. “My vision is to create jobs that will generate tax revenues resulting in a better quality of life for all the citizens of Bradenton.”
“New energetic leadership is the prescription for success in City Hall. I am a hard worker who will always treat the job as a full-time position.” O'Brien, who lost a city council race in 2009, is a real estate investor and professor of political science at the University of South Florida Manatee-Sarasota.
A Bradenton native, O'Brien last year received the Bradenton Kiwanis "Game Changer Award" for chairing a‘Christmas in July’ event that provided school supplies and services to homeless children in the community.
He currently is the chairman of the Manatee County Democratic Party, although the Bradenton mayor's post is nonpartisan.
Also running for mayor in the Nov. 6 election are longtime city council member Marianne Barnebey and Travis W. Holliday. As of Wednesday morning, only Poston had officially qualified for the ballot. The qualifying period ends at noon Friday.
O'Brien's kickoff event at city hall in downtown Bradenton is set for noon.