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Date of Issue: August 13, 2008

County commission candidates have variety of support

Both candidates for the Manatee County Commission seat for District 7, which includes Anna Maria Island, have the financial backing of a number of significant business leaders and elected officials.

Incumbent Jane von Hahmann has received considerable support from mainland businesses and politicians, while challenger John Chappie, presently a Bradenton Beach city commissioner and former mayor, has found contributors from some lobbying organizations, developers and a groundswell on Anna Maria Island.

According to online records available at, von Hahmann has raised $42,092, while Chappie has $32,945 in his campaign treasury.

The following are some of the notable companies and individuals that have donated to the campaigns:


Von Hahmann contributions from current and former officials:

Bradenton Beach:

Former Mayor Katie Pierola contributed $100.

Holmes Beach:

City attorney Patricia Petruff contributed $100, while Mayor Rich Bohnenberger and his wife, Phyllis, have given $200.

Former city commissioner and Save Anna Maria Inc. president Billie Martini donated $100.


Former state Sen. John McKay donated $250, while Bradenton Councilman Gene Gallo provided $150 to the von Hahmann treasury.

Chappie contributions from current and former officials:

Bradenton Beach:

Mayor Michael Pierce donated $100 to the Chappie campaign, as has former Mayor Connie Drescher.

City Commissioner John Shaughnessy donated $150 and received a $50 refund from the campaign. City clerk Nora Idso, assistant director of public works Estha Patterson and code enforcement officer Gail Garneau each donated $100, while city attorney Ricinda Perry provided $500 to the campaign.

Former City Commissioner Bill Shearon donated $100.

Holmes Beach:

City Commissioner Sandy Haas-Martens contributed $100, while City Commissioner David Zaccagnino chimed in with $200.

Anna Maria:

Mayor Fran Barford has given $300, while City Commissioner Dale Woodland has provided $200. Former city commissioner and current city candidate Chuck Webb donated $100.

Manatee County:

Larry Bustle, a candidate for the Manatee County Commission District 1 seat, has given $100 to the Chappie treasury, while County Commissioner Carol Whitmore has provided $300 for Chappie’s campaign and her husband, Dr. Andre Renard has donated $250.


Attorney Greg Hootman of Sarasota, who often works for the Florida League of Cities in defending lawsuits against municipalities, gave $500 to the Chappie election effort.


Chappie business/individual contributions of $500:

  • Whiting Preston, landowner.
  • David Wilcox, attorney.
  • LaPensee Plumbing Inc. of Holmes Beach.
  • David Teitelbaum, Bradenton Beach developer.
  • Citizens for Housing and Urban Growth.
  • Committee Supporting Competitive Utilities.
  • Teachers United for Better Schools.
  • Gulf Coast Builders Exchange.
  • Frank Davis, real estate, Holmes Beach.
  • Michael Coleman, Anna Maria developer.
  • WELD Inc./Sandbar Restaurant.
  • Bradenton River Utilities of Lakewood Ranch.
  • Lorraine Corners (real estate), Lakewood Ranch.
  • Portico Condominiums, Lakewood Ranch.
  • Polo Ranches of Sarasota (real estate).

Contribution of $437.58:

  • ELRA Inc./BeachHouse restaurant (in kind).

Contribution of $400:

  • Robert Whitehead, construction.

Contributions of $250:

  • Lewis, Longman and Walker, Palm Beach, attorneys.
  • John Cagnina, Holmes Beach.

Contributions of $100:

  • Wagner Realty.
  • Barry Gould.
  • David Moynihan.

Von Hahmann business/individual contributions of $500:

  • Larry Lieberman, real estate.
  • Lemuel Sharp, contractor.
  • Paul Sharff, property management.
  • APA political action committee, Washington, D.C.
  • Shepherd’s Red Barn, Bradenton.
  • Palmer Investors, real estate, Bradenton.
  • Cargor Partners, agriculture.
  • High Ground Enterprises, property management.
  • CMP Investment Management, Bradenton.
  • Shirley McNabb, Bradenton.
  • Willow Trail LLC, developers, Bradenton.
  • Venice Dodge, auto dealer, Venice.
  • Ron Benderson, developer, Buffalo, N.Y.
  • Whiting Preston, landowner.
  • Len Sirotzki, retired.

Contributions of $250:

  • Jeffrey Steinsnyder, attorney.
  • Dan Molter, pest control.
  • Commercial Plastering Inc., Bradenton.
  • West Coast Medical, Bradenton.
  • John Neal, developer, Lakewood Ranch.
  • R. M. Beall, Bealls chairman, Bradenton.

Contributions of $200:

  • BSC land development, Bradenton.
  • Sean Murphy, restaurant, Holmes Beach.
  • David Gorin, Holiday Cove RV Resort.

Contributions of $150:

  • Dolly Young, real estate.
  • Getman Travel.
  • Bonner Joy, newspaper, Holmes Beach.
  • Turner Tree and Landscaping, Bradenton.

Contributions of $100:

  • Charles McDonald, Bealls.
  • Earl Baden, attorney.

Editor’s Note The above are only some of the people and businesses who contributed to both campaigns. For a full list of contributors, go on the Internet to and click on the file “candidates,” then search financial records.