Looking ahead to the Aug. 26 primary vote in Manatee County, we will begin publishing the Herald Editorial Board's recommendations next week in several major races.
First up are the two Manatee County commission races, though the winner of one does not have a November opponent and will assume the post. Since that particular primary contest -- pitting District 4 incumbent Robin DiSabatino against Tim Norwood -- features only two Republicans, District 4 Democrats are allowed to vote.
The other competitive commission race, a three-candidate Democratic primary in District 2, features incumbent Michael P. Gallen vs. Corie M. Holmes and Charles B. Smith. The winner will square off in November against write-in candidate Troy Thomas.
Three out of the five school board seats are up for grabs. These are nonpartisan contests, so every registered voter in the county is eligible to mark their choices.
One school board race, the District 5 contest, has the crowded field of incumbent Julie B. Aranibar, Mary S. Cantrell, James T. Golden and Carlton "Les" Nichols.
The District 4 contest features former school board member Frank Brunner against incumbent Karen Carpenter.
With longtime school board member Barbara Harvey choosing not to seek another term, voters in District 2 will seat a board newcomer, either Rodney K. Jones or Charlie Kennedy.
To better inform the electorate about the candidates and the issues, the Bradenton Herald, in partnership with Manatee Educational Television, taped candidate forums at METV's studios for broadcasting numerous times up to the primary vote.
This is an opportunity for most voters to judge candidates as they speak to some of the issues.
All five of these commission and school board forums can be viewed anytime on www.bradenton.com/video. METV is also regularly airing all the forums, and the station can be viewed on Brighthouse channel 614, Verizon FIOS 31 and Comcast 19. For METV airtimes, visit www.metvweb.com.
We encourage voters to explore candidates' community involvement, leadership experience and depth of knowledge about the office they seek.