MANATEE - Manatee County Commissioner Ron Getman, on the commission since 2002 representing southern Manatee County, announced this morning he is not running for re-election next year.
In public service for 47 years, in the military, law enforcement and the commission, Getman said he wants to devote more time and energy to a travel agency he started four years ago.
"My time as a county commission has been gratifying, and I have enjoyed the opportunity to help shape the future of our community as it relates to the growth, safety and welfare of our county," Getman said in a statement. "I have the greatest admiration and respect for the members of our community that have allowed me to represent them during my tenure."
Getman, a Republican, said the defeat of two incumbent commissioners in last year's GOP primaries did not affect his decision.
Local real estate broker Robin DiSabatino, a Republican, last week announced her bid for the District 4 seat now held by Getman. District 4 is comprised of neighborhoods in southern Manatee County.
"Ron is a patriot," DiSabatino said. "He served our military, he was a state trooper and a county commissioner.
"We appreciate his service," she said.
DiSabatino said she had heard various rumors about Getman's political plans, but said that uncertainty did not influence her decision to run.
Also currently running for the District 4 seat is Democrat Roger C. Galle.
Depending on who enters the contest, Getman said he may later make an endorsement in the race.
"It is my hope that knowing that I will not be running for re-election, someone will come forward that possesses a knowledge of the issues of this community and has a record of working with and being part of various civic, youth and social groups that serve our community," Getman said.
Getman said he will stay active with the Manatee County Chamber of Commerce and as president of the Gold Star Club.