Michael Gallen, Carol Whitmore seek re-election to Manatee County Commission

skennedy@bradenton.comJuly 2, 2013 

MANATEE -- At least two Manatee County commissioners, Michael Gallen and Carol Whitmore, are planning to run for re-election next year.

Gallen, a Democrat, has filed documents with the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections to run again for the District 2 seat.

Whitmore, a Republican, said she has not yet formally filed to run, but plans to again seek re-election to her at-large seat on the seven-member board.

Gallen is an attorney who was elected in 2010, and now is vice chairman of the commission.

Asked the highlights of his tenure, Gallen cited the 2011 closing of a Palmetto neighborhood store called Groover's Super Market, which officials said had become a magnet for criminal activity.

"The biggest thing when I was elected were concerns over drug and criminal activities... and I was able to, using the skills I acquired in law school, to find legal authorities to stop that nuisance," he said.

Another highlight, he said, was convincing fellow board members to back another source of funding for the local juvenile detention center, which costs $1.7 million annually to operate, Gallen said.

Year after year, the board has used tax dollars meant forchildren's services on incarceration expenses instead, which he opposed as a wrong use of the money, he said.

Whitmore, a nurse, chairs the Manatee County Port Authority and has been a past chair of the county commission.

Asked her proudest achievements as a commissioner, Whitmore cited her work

in establishing a pro-gram in which medical residents care for the homeless, and her leadership in the adoption of the county's groundbreaking "no kill" policy for its animal shelter.

"I feel like I'm a working commissioner -- there are some that aren't," she said. "I'm a hands-on commissioner."

So far, the only other declared candidate inthe race is RepublicanTimothy Norwood, who is running for the District 4 seat now held by County Commissioner Robin DiSabatino, also a Republican.

Reached Monday, DiSabatino said she had made no decision yet about running for re-election.

"We're waiting 'til the fall to make a decision," she said.

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