BRADENTON -- Veteran Bradenton City Council member Marianne Barnebey today announced that she is challenging Wayne Poston for mayor.
Barnebey, first elected to the city council in 1998, said she was encouraged to run for mayor by residents and business owners who felt "that it's time for a change."
"They think that not every citizen's voice is heard and that citizens' input is not respected," Barnebey said. "My record and reputation show that I do listen to citizens."
Poston said Barnebey was running the same campaign he ran when he was first elected to office in 1999.
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"I think she's smart to try to use that," Poston said. "But people don't feel that I have done a bad job. They do not feel underrepresented in the mayor's office. ... I don't think Ms. Barnebey brings them any reason to make the change."
Barnebey is the founder and coordinator of Winter Wonderland festival in downtown Bradenton held in December. She also serves on the boards of the Sarasota Bay National Estuary Program, ArtCenter Manatee, the Gold Star Club and Crimestoppers.
She is the chair of the Manatee County Library Board of Trustees and is a founding member and soloist of Faith United Methodist Church.
As of Thursday afternoon, Barnebey was not listed as an official candidate on the county supervisor of elections website. Poston and a second challenger, Travis Holliday have filed, according to the website.
“I believe I have the vision and the ability to pull our community together in order to operate an open and transparent government," Barnebey said in an email announcing her candidacy. "I will be asking the citizens to voice their concerns and opinions through traditional channels as well as newer technologies.”
“We have tremendous opportunities with the redevelopment of our downtown and neighborhoods," she continued. "For our community to be successful with this, it is critical that the city government listen to the citizens who pay for the government.”
The election is Nov. 6.