MANATEE -- Two candidates have filed for the 2016 election.
Former state Rep. Ron Reagan, a Republican, has filed for the District 1 seat on the Manatee County Commission seat currently held by Larry Bustle. Manatee County Tax Collector Ken Burton, Jr., a Republican, has filed for re-election as tax collector, a seat he has held since 1992.
Reagan, an insurance executive, announced last week that he would run for the District 1 commission seat, which covers Parrish and north county.
"I am looking forward to getting back and working with our community," Reagan said last week. "I believe because of some of the contacts I have made over the years, being in the Legislature, will enable me to work hand in hand both on the state level as well as the local level."
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Reagan, who was a state representative for Manatee County from 2002 to 2010, is the fourth Republican candidate to have filed for the seat, but Bustle last month announced his plans to withdraw his name. On Monday, Bustle withdrew his name for re-election in 2016.
Reagan's two rivals for the District 1 seat in the 2016 election are Corie Holmes and Nathaniel Leonard, both Republicans.
Holmes ran unsuccessfully against Commissioner Charles Smith in 2014 for the District 2 seat as a Democrat. Leonard lost against Bustle in the 2012 GOP primary.
While Reagan and his wife, Lynn, currently live in District 5, Reagan said they've been looking for homes in the Parrish area for a number of months to downsize.
"It was always our intention to go to the Parrish area where a lot of new growth, great people and a wonderful community," Reagan said last week.
Burton is the first candidate to file for tax collector in the 2016 election.
Prior to being elected as tax collector in 1992, Burton served as data processing administrator for Tax Collector's office from 1985-92, according to the Tax Collector's website.
"Through the leadership of Ken Burton Jr., the Manatee County Tax Collector's Office has been innovative in a number of areas," the website reads. "You know he's a forward thinker when the Office's web address is -- www.taxcollector.com. Out of thousands of Tax Collectors around the world, only the Manatee County Tax Collector's Internet address bears the simple designation 'taxcollector.com.' Expanding this technology vision, Manatee County was the first Tax Collector in the state to sell Hunting & Fishing Licenses online."
Claire Aronson, Manatee County reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7024. Follow her on Twitter@Claire_Aronson.