Professional planner and former school board candidate Misty Servia has thrown her name in the ring for the District 4 county commission seat.
“I’m running because I value our community and I believe I have the skills and the temperament to help to make it a stronger and better place,” she said.
Incumbent District 4 Commissioner Robin DiSabatino recently announced she was not seeking re-election and withdrew her name, opening up the race to represent southern Manatee County on the county commission. But the commissioner “sought her out.”
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“I’m so thrilled she has taken this on,” DiSabatino said.
Servia has been involved in a number of organizations, including the Manatee Chamber of Commerce, Manatee Tiger Bay and Manatee County Housing Authority.
“The district has a lot of aging infrastructure and it really needs some upgrades. That’ll be one of my main focuses,” she said. Other issues, following DiSabatino’s footsteps, included public safety, economic development and flooding.
As of Thursday, Servia faces two other Republicans for the spot: Laurie Galle and Mark Black.
Servia ran for the School Board of Manatee County District 3 seat in 2016 and narrowly lost in a runoff to Dave Miner. She later sought to be appointed onto the board by Gov. Rick Scott after Karen Carpenter announced she was stepping down, but the seat was filled by Scott Hopes.
She currently does not live in District 4 but said she plans to move there with her husband and three children.
Galle said she previously supported Servia when she ran for school board, but had scathing words suggesting that Servia would be “abandoning” her own District 3, which is currently represented by Commission Stephen Jonsson who is not up for election.
“I think if you live in your district, you should be faithful to it,” Galle said, who has lived in the district for nearly 30 years. Black was not immediately available for comment.
DiSabatino has thrown her full support behind Servia, saying that her “honesty, accessibility and accountability” were reasons she believed Servia was the best candidate.
“I’m very proud to have her endorsement,” Servia said. “She’s worked really hard for the people in District 4 and she’s earned their respect.”