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Date of Issue: July 05, 2006

Whitmore now a county commission candidate

Holmes Beach Mayor Carol Whitmore had already said she would not seek re-election as mayor - a post she’s held since 1998 - but would instead run for a seat on the city commission in the November elections. She even publicly announced she would not run for a seat on the Manatee County Commission.

But everything changed early last week when county commission candidate Ed Chance unexpectedly died of an apparent heart attack. Chance, a former county commissioner, had been considered the front-runner for the seat being vacated by Commissioner Pat Glass and Whitmore had said she would not run against Chance, whom she considered a good friend.

Whitmore, a registered Republican, said last Wednesday that she would now run for a seat on the Board of County Commissioners, seeking the District 6 at-large seat that Glass is vacating. The county commission race is a bi-partisan election with primary voting in September.

"I had given serious consideration earlier this year to running," Whitmore said. "However, Ed Chance and I were good friends and I felt he was a strong candidate. His untimely passing forced me to reconsider."

She said she received support and encouragement to run for county commissioner from throughout Manatee County, including Florida Sen. Mike Bennett.

Whitmore will face Republicans Stella Burnett and Craig Trigueiro in the September Republican primary. Sarah Meaker is the lone Democrat running for the seat.

Whitmore will not have to resign her seat to run for the county office. She has been actively involved in Holmes Beach politics since 1991, when she was elected to a seat on the city commission. She was elected mayor in 1998 and continues to hold that position, having been re-elected three times.

She gave no reason as to her preference to serve on the county board over the city commission, however the commission seat pays $70, 853 annually, while as mayor she earns $9,600 per year.

Born in Michigan, Whitmore moved to Anna Maria Island when she was 14 years old. She is a graduate of Manatee High School and has a registered nursing degree from Manatee Community College.

She is married to Andre Renard, a cosmetic surgeon, and she is currently the administrator for his practice on University Parkway. Whitmore and her husband, along with her daughter, Janae Haupt, live in Holmes Beach.