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November election qualifying kicks off this week and next

By Rick Catlin, Islander Reporter

Woodland

Anna Maria citizens who want to run for a seat on the city commission in November, have until noon Friday, Aug. 30, to submit qualifying papers.

The qualifying period for three of the five two-year seats on the commission that expire in November began Aug. 19.

Incumbent Commissioner Dale Woodland wasted no time in submitting his qualifying papers to serve a sixth two-year term to the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office, 600 U.S. 301 Blvd. W., Bradenton. The supervisor’s website lists Woodland as a qualified candidate, the only one as of Aug. 17.

Incumbent Commissioner Gene Aubry has declared he intends to run and is in the process of compiling his paperwork and signatures.

Commissioner Doug Copeland, who was appointed June 13 to the commission, said before the Aug. 15 city meeting that he’s made a decision, but was not ready to make an announcement.

“Part of me says to run, then realization sets in,” but he declined to elaborate.

Planning and zoning board member Carol Carter has said she plans to seek commission seat.

For a city commission election to take place in Anna Maria Nov. 5, at least four candidates are needed.

If only three candidates qualify, each would automatically be elected.

An Anna Maria commissioner is elected to a two-year term and earns $400 per month.

 

Bradenton Beach has two races

Bradenton Beach voters will have their first contested city election this year since 2010.

Qualifying officially begins Aug. 26, but already former Commissioner Bill Shearon has declared he will run for the two-year term against incumbent Mayor John Shaughnessy, who confirmed he will seek re-election.

Shaughnessy is a former Ward 1 commissioner, who served six years on the dais before term limits forced him out of office in 2009. He took two years off before making a successful run for mayor when the incumbent mayor declined to run for the seat.

Bradenton Beach Ward 3 Commissioner Ric Gatehouse declared July 29 he will seek a term on the dais.

Gatehouse assumed office in February 2012 after no one stepped forward to run for the seat vacated by Ward 3 commissioner Janie Robertson, who termed out of office after six years on the dais in November 2011.

Three city commissioners and Shaughnessy eventually appointed Gatehouse to the seat.

This will be his first run for election and he faces the very person who vacated the Ward 3 seat — Robertson.

Robertson said she wants her seat back because, “It seems as if my desire to make things work as best they can is beyond my control and I can’t stay out of it anymore.”

Robertson began her service to the city on the comprehensive plan committee in 2004 and held various volunteer board positions before serving as commissioner.

A third seat up for election is the Ward 1 seat presently held by Commissioner Gay Breuler, but since she married recently, she has been more absent than not from meetings.

John V. “Jack” Clarke has declared his intention to run in Ward 1.

Bradenton Beach commissioners must reside in wards, but the vote is citywide.

 

Holmes Beach election wide open

Holmes Beach incumbent Commissioners Pat Morton, Jean Peelen and David Zaccagnino, are up for re-election in November.

All three officials have told The Islander they intend to seek retention, but as the qualifying period inches closer, none have taken the necessary steps at the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office.

And, thus far, no challengers have come forward, although there is no lack of rumors circulating.

Note: Candidate qualifying information for the three island elections can be found at www.islander.org.

 

The process

According to the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office, prospective candidates may state their intention at any time, but they are not considered a “declared” candidate until they register a treasurer and open a campaign bank account.

SOE office, 600 301 Blvd. W., Suite 108, Bradenton, said candidate qualifying packets have been delivered to the island cities.

A prospective candidate must first file a form to appoint a campaign treasurer and designate a campaign depository — a bank account — with the SOE before contributions can be accepted or funds are spent.

The candidate then must file a statement of candidate form within 10 days of filing the treasurer and bank designation forms.

Candidates were able to file early by obtaining a qualifying packet at the SOE office.

Candidate qualifying in the three island cities officially began with Anna Maria on Aug. 19. Qualifying for Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach begins Aug. 26. All three cities wrap up at noon Aug. 30. The city elections are non-partisan and all seats are for two-year terms.

In Anna Maria, a candidate must be a citizen of the United States, a registered voter in Manatee County and a resident of the city for two years prior to qualifying. The candidate must file a loyalty oath, oath of candidate, a statement of financial interests and a residency affidavit for both the candidate and his/her treasurer.

The candidate must pay from its bank treasury fund a qualifying fee equal to 1 percent of the annual salary for the office sought — $96 for mayor, $48 for commission seat — and obtain 10 petition signatures of voters residing in the city.

In Bradenton Beach, a candidate must be a citizen of the United States, a registered voter in Manatee County in the ward for which he/she qualifies and a resident of the city for nine months prior to qualifying. The candidate must file a loyalty oath, oath of candidate, a statement of financial interests and a residency affidavit, as well as 10 resident affidavits attesting to the candidate’s residency.

The candidate must pay a qualifying fee equal to 1 percent of the annual salary for the office sought — $96 for mayor, $48 for commission seat — and obtain 10 petition signatures of voters residing in the city.

In Holmes Beach, a candidate must be a citizen of the United States, a registered voter in Manatee County and a resident of the city for two years prior to qualifying. The candidate must file a loyalty oath, oath of candidate, a statement of financial interests and a residency affidavit.

The candidate must pay a qualifying fee equal to 1 percent of the annual salary for the office sought —$60 for a commission seat and $120 for mayor, although the mayor’s seat does not expire until 2014 — and obtain 15 petition signatures of voters residing in the city.

Candidates in all three cites can opt to file an undue burden oath, which eliminates the election assessment fee if all other requirements are met.

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