Veteran officeholder Carol Whitmore handily won her quest to serve another four-year term on the Manatee County Board of Commissioners.
Whitmore, a Republican and resident of Holmes Beach, defeated Democrat Sundae Lynn Knight, a rookie campaigner, in the Nov. 2 race for the District 6 at-large seat.
The Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office reported that Whitmore received 69 percent of the vote. The tally from the county’s 127 precincts was 70,075 votes for Whitmore, 31,656 for Knight.
On her home turf of Anna Maria Island, Whitmore’s showing was even stronger: 78 percent of the vote in Anna Maria, 73 percent of the vote in Bradenton Beach, 84 percent of the vote in Holmes Beach’s
Precinct 92 and 79 percent of the vote in Holmes Beach’s Precinct 93.
Knight’s election night party took place at Joyland in Bradenton.
Whitmore’s campaign celebrated at Mattison’s Riverside in downtown Bradenton.
“I am very proud of this campaign,” Whitmore said. “It was very important to address only the issues and the facts. My candidacy was about accomplishments, services and a record of success.”
Whitmore was first elected to the county post in 2006. Prior to that election, she served as Holmes Beach mayor and city commissioner.
The Republican, who was unopposed in the August primary, said her top priorities are encouraging the creation of jobs and bringing more business to the area, especially the port.
“The state of the economy in Manatee County remains first and foremost in my campaign,” Whitmore said. “Just five or six years ago, we had the lowest unemployment rate in the country. We need to decrease the unemployment rate and help current businesses expand as well as attract new companies that offer well paying jobs.”
Knight, an engineer, said she decided to run after learning how many colleagues and friends had lost their jobs in recent years.
The elections office reported five under-votes in the countywide race.
In the other county commission race decided Nov. 2, Republican Robin DiSabatino defeated Democrat Roger Galle for the District 4 seat being vacated by Ron Getman. The vote, which was not on Island ballots, was 61 percent for DiSabatino.
In the primary, incumbent Gwen Brown lost her race against Michael Gallen for the District 2 seat. Gallen was unopposed on Election Day.
Commissioners earn $74,764 a year.