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Date of Issue: June 22, 2006

Most Island officials will seek re-election

While the Island has not yet been gripped by election fever in preparation for the November balloting, a number of incumbent officials in Anna Maria and Holmes Beach say they will be seeking another term when qualifying begins in July.

In Holmes Beach, Mayor Carol Whitmore has already announced her intention not to seek another term as mayor, but will instead run for a seat on the city commission, a post she held prior to becoming mayor in 1998.

Incumbent City Commissioner Rich Bohnenberger has tossed his hat into the ring for the mayor’s post, while City Commissioner Sandy Haas-Martens said she will seek another term. Only Commissioner Roger Lutz was noncommittal, saying he had not yet reached a decision to seek another term.

Up in Anna Maria, Mayor SueLynn has been mum on whether or not she’ll seek another term to the position she’s held since February 2002.

Incumbent City Commissioners Duke Miller and Linda Cramer, however, said they will seek re-election.

In Bradenton Beach, Ward 2 Commissioner Lisa Maria Phillips has said she will not seen another term of office. Political activist Michael Pierce has said he would run for the seat.

Ward 4 Commissioner Bill Shearon said he planned to seek another term.

Qualifying in all cities begins at noon on July 17 and ends on July 21 at noon. No candidates have yet picked up election packets, according to a spokesperson for the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office.

In Anna Maria and Holmes Beach, candidates may reside anywhere in the city as long as they have been residents for at least two years. Bradenton Beach candidates have to have been residents for at least nine months and must live in prescribed areas of the city, although they are elected by all city voters.

Ward 2 boundaries are generally from the centerline of 24th Street to roughly 18th Street, encompassing all of the Runaway Bay condominium complex. The exception of those boundaries is the bayfront property along Canasta Drive, which is in Ward 1.

Ward 4 boundaries are generally from the centerline of Second Street north to Longboat Pass, including the Pines Trailer Park.

Candidates must declare their intention to seek a public office in a local media outlet, open an election campaign account, pay a qualifying fee of $48 for a commission seat or $96 for mayor, take a loyalty oath and submit a financial disclosure statement. Candidates in all three cities must also obtain signatures from at least 10 electors supporting their candidacy in their respective cities.

Qualifying packets may be picked up at the candidate’s city hall, but qualifying in Anna Maria must be done through the supervisor of elections office in Bradenton. Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach clerks can qualify their city candidates, although qualifying packets are apparently not yet ready for distribution.

Further information on candidate qualifying may be obtained at the Supervisor of Elections Web site at www.votemanatee.com or by calling the election supervisor at 741-3823.