Veteran officeholder Carol Whitmore faces a challenge from rookie campaigner Sundae Lynn Knight in the Nov. 2 race for at-large Manatee County commissioner.
Whitmore, of Holmes Beach, has held the seat for nearly four years. Prior to her election to county office, she served as Holmes Beach mayor and city commissioner.
“I decided to run for office because I love public service,” Whitmore said. “As someone who grew up on the Island, on my own at the age of 15, I told myself that I would make a better life for myself and others if I made it. I have been a commissioner who gets involved.”
The Republican cites her top priorities as encouraging the creation of jobs “for the 13 percent who are unemployed in Manatee County,” bringing more business to the port and improving the quality of health care in Manatee County.
Whitmore said as a former mayor and a four-year veteran on the county board she’s ready “to hit the road running.”
Knight, an engineer, said she decided to run after learning how many colleagues and friends had lost their jobs in recent years.
“I became intensely aware that local government was not doing enough to encourage sustainable jobs in Manatee County and that many of the actions and inactions of the commission actually chased away good jobs,” said the Democrat from Bradenton.
Her priorities, Knight said, are “to help create more green-industry jobs, for the comprehensive greening of Manatee County government to increase efficiency and reduce costs and protect our environmental resources. Attracting green-industry jobs to Manatee County is key to stabilizing our economy from cyclical ‘boom and bust’ sectors of construction, real estate and tourism.”
She promised voters that she has “the analytical skills of a professional engineer, the passion for the environment of an energy manager, the discipline of a veteran and a desire to see Manatee County become the sustainable industrial powerhouse of the South.”
Whitmore promised, “I will represent the entire county. I have no hidden agenda except to make the county the best. I will do it with professionalism and work with all cities to keep up the good relationships that I have established since being elected to office. I will work hard to represent all.”