BB election sparring begins

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Bill Vincent, left, and Bradenton Beach Vice Mayor John Chappie pose Oct. 12, 2016, during The Islander’s “Popcorn and Politics” candidate forum at the newspaper office in Holmes Beach. Islander File Photo: ChrisAnn Silver Esformes

Election season is on the front burner in Bradenton Beach.

While the municipal election may yet be months away, sparks already are flying.

Mayor Bill Shearon is seeking re-election and Vice Mayor John Chappie has declared he will challenge Shearon for the seat in the Nov. 7 municipal election.

Chappie — former mayor and county commissioner — was elected Ward 4 commissioner in November 2016.

Now, with Chappie having filed his “resign-to-run” paperwork, he will hold the Ward 4 commission seat until the election. It will not be on the ballot.

Instead, it will be open for commission appointment following the Nov. 7 election whether or not he wins the mayoral race.

In an Aug. 23 email to the Chappie and city officials, Bill Vincent asked Chappie to reconsider his resignation.

In the email, Vincent, who was defeated by Chappie in the Ward 4 race in 2016 by 140 votes, claims Chappie is depriving the people of the fair and democratic election procedure that led to Chappie’s victory.

“You won the race for Ward 4 commissioner in a free, fair, competitive and democratic election. You are now on a course of action that denies those same electors the right to choose their representative official. With your effective date of resignation there is no mechanism for a citizen to place their name in candidacy for this elective office,” Vincent wrote.

Vincent ended the email with a demand for Chappie to change the date of his resignation to allow an election for the Ward 4 seat.

As of Aug. 25, Chappie had not responded to Vincent’s email.

In addition to the mayor’s office, Ward 1 and Ward 3 commission seats are up for election in November.

Ward 1 Commissioner Jake Spooner and Ward 3 Commissioner Ralph Cole are completing their first terms and both have declared they will seek re-election.

Candidates for the Bradenton Beach election must submit qualifying paperwork and fees by noon Friday, Sept. 1, to the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office, 600 301 Blvd. W., Bradenton.

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