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Date of Issue: June 25, 2008

Political contests take shape

Still open
For many offices in the 2008 election, the filing period closed at noon June 20.

However, in accordance with the city charter, candidate filing remains open for Bradenton Beach until noon July 3.

Also, filing for candidates in Holmes Beach will take place from noon July 7 to noon July 11.

And, in the event an Islander has high political ambitions, filing for write-in candidates for president and vice president is from 8 a.m. July 1 to noon July 8.

Anna Maria Island voters will face at least two local contests in the Aug. 26 primary - battles for the District 3 and District 7 county commission seats.

In District 3,  Jane von Hahmann of Cortez is the incumbent in the race, seeking to serve a third term. John Chappie, who has served as Bradenton Beach mayor and currently as vice mayor, is the challenger.

Both candidates qualified well before the deadline at noon June 20 for filing for county offices.

With both von Hahmann and Chappie running as Republicans, the race will be decided in an open Aug. 26 primary, not in the general election Nov. 4.

Other county commission seats also will be contested in August, with three Republicans running in District 1, four Republicans in District 5 and two Republicans in the at-large District 7. Island voters will cast ballots in that race - which pits incumbent Joe McClash against Greg Witham.

Island city races

Three two-year terms are up in Holmes Beach - mayor and two city commissioners. As of Islander press time, Mayor Rich Bohnenberger and Commissioners Sandy Haas-Martens and John Monetti were the only people to pick up candidate packets to prepare to run Nov. 4. Candidate filing in Holmes Beach does not begin until noon July 7 and ends at noon July 11.

In Bradenton Beach, candidate filing began June 16,but continues until noon July 3 in accordance with the city’s charter.

As of Islander press time, two people, Bill Shearon and Robert Bartelt, had qualified to run for the Ward 4 commission seat and one person, incumbent Bob Connors, for his Ward 2 seat.

In Anna Maria, where the filing period closed June 20, incumbent Fran Barford qualified for mayor and four people qualified to run for two city commission seats - incumbent JoAnn Mattick, former Commissioners Robert Barlow and Chuck Webb and Mark Alsonso.

West Manatee Fire Rescue District

Two seats on the West Manatee Fire Rescue District’s board of commissioners are up for election. In District 1, Jesse Linn Davis is seeking re-election in a race against Albert F. Robinson. In District 5, Randal Cooper and Steve Pontious have qualified to run for the seat now held by Jack Emery.

Federal races

Island voters will not see a contest in a federal race until Nov. 4, when they elect a U.S. representative to a two-year term. Republican Vern Buchanan is seeking re-election and his opponent from 2006, Democrat Christine Jennings, has qualified to run again. Neither has a primary opponent.

The presidential election also will take place Nov. 4.

Uncontested offices

With the close of qualifying period for many offices, a number of candidates found they do not face opponents:

  • Incumbent R.B. Shore for county clerk of the circuit court.
  • Incumbent Bob Gause for Manatee County School Board District 4, which includes Anna Maria Island.
  • Incumbent Charles Hackney for property appraiser.
  • Incumbent Brad Steube for sheriff.
  • Incumbent Bob Sweat for supervisor of elections.
  • Incumbent Ken Burton Jr. for tax collector.
  • 12th Judicial Circuit State Attorney Earl Moreland.
  • State Sen. Mike Bennett.
  • State Rep. Bill Galvano.