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Date of Issue: September 13, 2007

Bradenton Beach mayor, commissioners all available this year

A rare political event appears to be occurring in Bradenton Beach: all five seats on the commission may be up for grabs.

Mayor John Chappie is finishing his last term in office due to term-limit restrictions that force him out of his mayoral position this November. However, he has said he will seek the Ward 4 seat on the city commission.

Ward 4 Commissioner Bill Shearon has announced his candidacy for mayor. He would have one year before he would need to seek re-election, so Chappie or any other challenger would fill the vacancy for 12 months.

In Ward 1, Vice Mayor John Shaughnessy, whose term is up in November, has announced his re-election bid, which will be for a two-year term.

Ward 2 will have a vacancy if Commissioner Michael Pierce files for a run for mayor against Shearon, as he has announced, leaving his one-year-remaining post vacant. There were no applicants for that position announced as of press time.

In Ward 3, Commission Janie Robertson has indicated she will file for re-election for her two-year term.

Qualifying for city offices in Bradenton Beach begins Monday, Sept. 17, and will continue until noon Friday, Sept. 21.

Bradenton Beach is unique in the political world on Anna Maria Island as its city commissioners must live in their respective wards, but are elected citywide. The mayoral post is held by anyone living in the city. City commissioners in other Island cities may live anywhere within their municipality and there are no designated wards or districts.

Bradenton Beach candidates must open a campaign account, from which they must pay their filing fee for office - $96 for mayor, $48 for commissioners. They must also have a petition signed by at least 10 electors in the city and have been a resident of their respective ward for at least nine months.

Qualifying paperwork and further information is available at city hall, 107 Gulf Drive N., or by calling 941-778-1005.

The election will be Nov. 6.