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Date of Issue: July 20, 2006

Ex-mayor considers running, SAM president runs

Former Anna Maria Mayor Gary Deffenbaugh took out a candidate packet last week, but said last Friday he was considering whether to run for either the mayor's position or one of the two city commission seats to be contested in the November election.

Planning and zoning chairperson Fran Barford and former P&Z chairman Tom Turner have already filed as candidates for the mayor's slot being vacated by Mayor SueLynn, who announced last week she would not seek a third term.

Deffenbaugh was mayor from 2000 to 2002, but did not seek re-election then.

As of noon July 17, the first day of candidate qualifying, the only other people to pick up election packets in Anna Maria were incumbent city commissioners Linda Cramer and Duke Miller. If no other commission candidates file and qualify by the noon deadline on July 21, Cramer and Miller will be returned to office unopposed.

In Holmes Beach, Save Anna Maria president Sheila Hurst has announced her candidacy for one of the two city commission seats up for election this November.

Incumbent commissioner Sandy Haas-Martens has already said she will seek re-election, while Commissioner Rich Bohnenberger, whose term is also up in November, will run for the mayor's position being vacated by Carol Whitmore, who is running for a seat on the county commission.

Planning committee member John Monetti has also picked up an election packet as has former City Commissioner Don Maloney.

Incumbent City Commissioner Roger Lutz said last week he has still not made up his mind whether to seek a sixth consecutive term.

Holmes Beach City Clerk Brooke Bennett said the qualifying packet for a seat on the city commission and the mayor's office are the same.

In Bradenton Beach, Michael Pierce has announced he will seek the Ward 2 seat being vacated by incumbent Commissioner Lisa Maria Phillips. Commissioner Bill Shearon of Ward 4 has also announced his intent to seek another term in office. No other candidates have indicated a willingness to run for the respective ward seats.

The qualifying period for all candidates runs from noon July 17 to noon July 21. Anna Maria candidates must qualify at the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office in Bradenton, while Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach candidates can qualify at their respective city hall. The election is Nov. 8.

The salary for the mayor's position in all three Island cities is $9,600 annually, while city commissioners in the Island cities earn $4,800 per year.