Whitmore files for re-election to Manatee County Commission

skennedy@bradenton.comSeptember 16, 2013 

MANATEE -- Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore has filed for re-election.

Whitmore, 58, a Republican from Holmes Beach, will be a candidate during next year's November election for the District 6 at-large seat. She is seeking a third four-year term.

"I love it; I feel like I am doing good," said Whitmore, a registered nurse. "I bring a different perspective.

"I'm very supportive of businesses, and since I've been in office, we've been through a major economic downturn," she noted. "I helped us weather it."

Whitmore said she is proud of her record for keeping taxes low, and during the recession the board cut its spending by multi-millions of dollars.

"I believe in living within your means," she said.

Whitmore touted her work to supply Bradenton's Galvano One Stop Center, which helps the needy, with medical residents; her duties as a liaison in connection with Blake Medical Center's trauma unit; and the county's groundbreaking attempt to transform its animal shelter to a "no kill" facility.

Former Manatee commissioner Joe McClash, whofrequently traded barbs with Whitmore when he was on the board, would not say whether he plans to challenge her next year.

"I have not decided on anything yet, not at this time," McClash said.

"People have been talking about it," he added. "Quite a few people are very unhappy with Carol Whitmore for her health-care sales tax vote that was placed on the ballot in June."

McClash also cited a vote last month on the proposed Long Bar Pointe development, which he described as "caving into Carlos Beruff and the developers."

Whitmore was among four commissioners who voted in favor of a map amendment to change the property's land-use designation from residential to mixed-use after developers removed a controversial boat basin from the plans.

On a related text amendment that would have opened certain coastal areas tomore development, shejoined six other commissioners in a unanimous vote against.

Whitmore has been a fixture in local politics for 22 years.

In 1991, she was elected to the Holmes Beach City Commission, and from 1998 to 2006 she served as mayor. She has been a member of the county commission since 2006.

So far, three other candidates have registered to run for commission next year, according to the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections website.

They include incumbent Manatee County Commissioner Michael Gallen, and challenger Charles B. Smith, a Palmetto city commissioner. They are both Democrats running for the commission's District 2 seat.

Running for the District 4 seat is Timothy S. Norwood, a Republican. Incumbent Robin DiSabatino, also a Republican, has not filed yet for re-election.

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter @sarawrites.

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