Editor’s note: The Bradenton Herald allows candidates who did not receive the Editorial Board’s recommendation the opportunity to respond.
Eleuterio Salazar Jr., Mayor, Bradenton
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Bradenton Herald. No one, myself included, is surprised that the Bradenton Herald endorsed Mayor Poston; after all, he was their executive editor and vice president prior to becoming mayor.
My campaign has been a grassroots campaign from the beginning. I am the first Latino to qualify for mayor. I have dedicated my life to the City of Bradenton and that commitment will carry on just as strong no matter the outcome of the election.
Mayor Poston said he would not serve more than two terms when he was first elected and now he is seeking a fifth term.
Mayor Poston, as the police commissioner, has allowed the Bradenton Police Department accreditation to lapse and it remains that way today with no plans to regain accreditation. As police commissioner, Mayor Poston has allowed Bradenton to become the heroin overdose capital of Florida, with no plan to change that either.
My other opponent, Mr. Warren Merriman, claims I have no management experience. Let me correct that. I worked my way up the ranks in the banking industry from teller to a licensed insured branch manager, a position I held for three years. I have also served as the president/CEO of the Gulf Coast Latin Chamber of Commerce and have been elected to serve them in this capacity again for 2017.
I ask, do we trust Mr. Merriman with $115 million budget when he was fired from his position of deputy chief of police for, and convicted of, theft?
We know the “Good ol’ boy” mentality still exists in Bradenton. I have solid plans to bring change, clean up our community, accredit our police, tackle the heroin epidemic, and bring all sectors of our community together. Please vote Salazar for the change we deserve.