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Date of Issue: September 16, 2009

New and old in Anna Maria city election

Incumbent Anna Maria City Commissioners John Quam, Christine Tollette and Dale Woodland will be challenged by two political newcomers in the race for the three seats up for election in November.

As of Sept. 11, challenger Harold “Harry” Stoltzfus of Poinsettia Avenue had qualified for the election, joining political newcomer David Gryboski of North Shore Drive to face the incumbents. Gryboski qualified earlier last week.

Stoltzfus said he’s been an Anna Maria resident for seven years, having moved here from Pennsylvania. This is his first attempt at any political office, he said.

Stoltzfus said he decided to run for a commission seat to “become involved in the community.”

Gryboski, who also is seeking his first political office, said he was running for a seat on the commission to seek a “better Anna Maria” for residents. He listed an address on North Shore Drive for his residence, but has a Holmes Beach address for mail.

Gryboski said he’s lived in Anna Maria for about four-and-a-half years.

 The three incumbents also have qualified for re-election.

Mark Alonso of North Shore Drive picked up an election packet in August, but as of Sept. 11 had not qualified to seek office. The qualifying period was to end at noon Tuesday, Sept. 15, after The Islander’s presstime.

Alonso said last week that he was undecided, but was more than likely not going to complete the paperwork. He ran an unsuccessful race in 2008 for a commission seat.

Quam has been a commissioner since 2002, while Woodland was first elected in 2003. Tollette gained her seat in the 2005 election.

The election for the commission seats will be Nov. 3.