Michael Rodgers files to run against U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan

skennedy@bradenton.comNovember 19, 2013 

MANATEE -- Another challenger has filed to run against U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, in next year's election.

Michael Wayne Rodgers, 30, filed recently under "No Party Affiliation" to run in the 16th Congressional District.

Rodgers could not be reached for comment, but his press secretary, Bobby Winsler, said Monday that Rodgers, who has not run for office before.

"Certainly he is the right man for the job," Winsler said.

Rodgers listed a Sarasota address on campaign documents, but he is a resident of Venice living temporarily in Tampa, Winsler said.

Rodgers is working as a security analyst at MacDill Air Force Base, according to Winsler.

A graduate of Venice High School, Rodgers enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and did tours in the Middle East, Winsler said.

Later, Rodgers was a marine patrol officer for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and later was an officer for the Venice Police Department, Winsler said.

Rodgers graduated from the University of Tampa, and was hired at the U.S. Special Operations Command Central, according to his biography.

Asked about Rodgers' candidacy, Buchanan spokeswoman Sally Tibbetts said, "We look forward to discussing the issues when the campaign gets underway next year."

Also in the race is Mitch Mallett, of Bradenton, a state Democratic committeeman representing Manatee County, who is running as a Democrat.

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

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