Whitmore faces opposition for at-large county seat

Republican Carol Whitmore is seeking a fourth term as District 6 Manatee County at-large commissioner.

Unlike many longtime incumbents, she’s not alone in the countywide race for re-election in 2018.

Michael Bennett, Manatee County supervisor of elections, lists Republican James Satcher, Democrat Melony Fletcher Howard and Candace Luther, no political affiliation, as Whitmore’s challengers as of June 22.

The list was longer earlier in the year, before Republicans Barbara Hemingway and Corie Holmes, Howard and independent candidate Cynthia Keller withdrew. Howard has since reactivated her campaign.

Whitmore is leading the race in fundraising.

She already has more than $69,000 in reported campaign funds, according to the SOE’s votemanatee.com website. None of the other candidates have raised more than $1,300.

“I am running because we are at a critical point in our county with the unexpected increase of 10,000 residents last year, who moved to the county because we are known for our low taxes and quality of life,” Whitmore said. “Our secret has gotten out.”

Whitmore, a Holmes Beach city commissioner 1991-98, and mayor of the city 1998-2006, generally votes in favor of Anna Maria Island issues.

The Cortez Bridge is one example.

“I do not support the Florida Department of Transportation’s recommendation to replace the Cortez Bridge with a 65-foot fixed span,” Whitmore said.

Whitmore said her contacts at the state level, including an endorsement from incoming Florida Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, will help improve capacity on Manatee County state roads.

“I have supported the island city governments 100 percent on whatever they have needed from the county unless fiscally we could not do it,” she said. “I am running because I can do what needs to be done and not let others forget that the island cities contribute greatly to our budget.”