MANATEE -- Former Bradenton Herald journalist Joanne P. Klement said Monday she is considering running for the District 5 seat on the Manatee County Commission. Incumbent Donna Hayes announced earlier in the day that she would not be running for re-election to a third term.
Klement, who also has worked in public relations, said a final decision on her candidacy would be "in the near future." But she did issue a news release in which she sounds like all but an official candidate for the Republican nomination for the commission seat.
"Manatee County’s unemployment rate persistently sticks at a stubborn 10.2 percent, among the highest in the state. Small business owners struggle to stay afloat. Homeowners face the threat of foreclosure or, worse, homelessness. Our young people are forced to leave home to distant cities to find jobs. Local government cuts vital services to avoid running up massive deficits.
"It is to battle these frustrating problems that I am considering becoming a candidate for the Republican nomination for the District 5 seat on the Board of County Commissioners of Manatee County."
Klement is married to David Klement, a former editorial page editor for the Bradenton Herald. She also has worked for other publications in the region, and in public relations for various businesses and nonprofit organization.
"I believe that I have the knowledge and skills to truly make a difference," Klement said in the release. "Manatee County needs a full-time commissioner who knows the community and its people."
Hayes announcement that she is not running for re-election leaves businesswoman Vanessa Baugh as the only announced candidate in the District 5, which is comprised of East Manatee, including Lakewood Ranch.