BRADENTON — Three members of the Bradenton City Council are being challenged in their bids for re-election in November.
The qualifying period ended Tuesday with council members Marianne Barnebey, Patrick Roff and Bemis Smith drawing one opponent each. The election is Nov. 3.
The races shape up like this:
n In Ward 2, Barnebey is being challenged by Lori Melton, who is currently unemployed but has experience working in accounting for construction and other businesses. Barnebey was first elected to the council in 1997, and is seeking a fourth term on the council representing a wide stretch of west-central Bradenton from the Manatee River to south of Cortez Road.
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n In Ward 3, which is made up of neighborhoods in central Bradenton, including Wares Creek and Ballard Park, Roff is being challenged by Richard O’Brien, a political science instructor at University of South Florida. Roff was first elected to the council in 2005, and is seeking a second term.
n In Ward 4, which covers neighborhoods along the Manatee River east of U.S. 301 and along the Braden River, Smith is being challenged by retired city employee Joel V. “Joe” Henry. Smith was first elected in 2001, and is seeking a third term on the council.
The current council members have almost 24 years of combined experienced on the council, but incumbency has not been a guarantor of re-election in recent local political campaigns. In the 2007 elections, current council member Harold Byrd Jr., ousted incumbent James Golden and it took a runoff for Mayor Wayne Poston to put away a challenge from former mayor Bill Evers.
And last year, two Manatee County commissioners, Jane von Hahmann and Amy Stein, were ousted after they lost their Republican primary races.
Bradenton City Council members hold nonpartisan positions, and are paid an annual salary of $27,834.
In the Bradenton election, the candidates have to be a resident of their respective ward, but all city residents can vote in each race.
Qualifying also ended Tuesday for the Nov. 3 council election in the city of Anna Maria.
Five candidates are running at-large for three seats on the five-member city commission. They are incumbents John Quam, Christine Tollette and Dale Woodland; and challengers David R. Gryboski and Harold “Harry” Stoltzfus.
The qualifying period for the Bradenton Beach City Commission election, also Nov. 3, ends at noon Friday. Already, Mayor Michael Pierce is being challenged for re-election by former commissioner William T. Shearon.
Gay Breuler is running unopposed for the Ward 1 commission seat; and incumbent Jane S. Robertson is unopposed in Ward 3.
Qualifying ended last month for the Holmes Beach City Commission election. Five candidates are running for three at-large seats: incumbents Pat Geyer, Pat Morton and David Zaccagnino; and challengers Al Robinson and Andrew Sheridan.
There is no city election in Palmetto or Longboat Key in November.