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Last-minute candidates join the political fray in these city elections

Election qualifying is coming to an end, which will determine which political hopefuls will move toward either the August primaries or the November general election.
Election qualifying is coming to an end, which will determine which political hopefuls will move toward either the August primaries or the November general election. Bradenton Herald

The qualifying period for political hopefuls to pay their fees and file their paperwork with the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office has expired and there were last-minute qualifications and filings.

Municipal elections are non-party affiliated so do not have primary elections and all qualified candidates will be on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.

Bradenton will have two contested races in Ward 3 and Ward 4. Incumbent Patrick Roff will take on challenger Cornelia Winn in Ward 3. Both have qualified and will be on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.

Ward 4 Councilman Bemis Smith was initially challenged by former mayoral candidate Eleuterio Salazar Jr., who finished last in the 2016 election. Salazar has since withdrawn, but Bill Sanders has filed late and qualified to give Smith a contested race in November. Ward 2 Councilman Gene Brown is unopposed and will retain his seat for a third term.

Palmetto City Commission

In Palmetto, three incumbents are unopposed for re-election and all have qualified. Ward 1 Commissioner Harold Smith, Ward 3 Commissioner Brian Williams and Ward 2 Commissioner Tambra Varnadore will retain their seats.

Anna Maria Island races

Voters in Anna Maria Island's three cities have several races to decide.

In Holmes Beach, Commissioner Judy Titsworth is giving up the seat she has held since 2012 to run for mayor. Two-term Mayor Bob Johnson is not running for re-election.

Opposing Titsworth is Joshua Linney, but Linney did not qualify as of noon Friday, according to the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office. Titsworth, who was listed as not being qualified on Thursday, has now qualified.

There are now three candidates for two seats on the Holmes Beach City Commission: newcomer Kim Rash, who was not qualified as of noon Friday, and incumbent Pat Morton who has qualified. Don Purvis filed at the last minute, but the elections website does not have him listed as qualified as of the closing period.

The top two vote recipients will serve as city commissioners.

In the city of Anna Maria, Mayor Dan Murphy has qualified and is running unopposed for re-election. Two candidates are vying for two commission seats with incumbent Nancy Yetter not running for re-election. Incumbent Brian Seymour and candidate Amy Tripp have both qualified.

In Bradenton Beach, five candidate are vying for two seats: Incumbents Ralph Cole and Marilyn Maro and challengers John Metz, William Vincent and Tjet Martin, all of whom have now qualified.

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