Bradenton mayoral candidates debate
The first candidate has filed to run for a seat on Bradenton’s City Council.
Eleuterio “Junior” Salazar, Jr., 32, said he filed Monday morning for a chance to represent Ward 5, a seat currently held by Harold Byrd, Jr.
Byrd said he will not be seeking re-election.
Though he currently lives in the Village of the Arts, Salazar said he is in the process of moving back to Ward 5, where he was born and raised, the first generation son of immigrants.
“That community has a huge place in my heart,” Salazar said.
He expressed concern over what he said was a lack of grants, other funds and development for the community.
Salazar said he wants the community to take ownership of their local government and become more involved.
“We’ve accepted politics as usual for far too long and it’s time we move on from that, we hold public officials accountable,” Salazar said. “(Voters) know they’re going to be able to count on me specifically to do what’s right by them.”
Among his touted accomplishments, Salazar received the President’s Volunteer Service Award from former President George W. Bush at the White House in 2005 and served as the youngest elected President/CEO of the Gulf Coast Latin Chamber of Commerce.
Salazar also founded the Multicultural Manateens, Multicultural Council and Manateen Multicultural Council.
He currently works in banking and finance.
Salazar’s name has been on Bradenton voters’ ballots before.
In 2016, he qualified as the youngest and first Latino candidate for mayor of Bradenton. He finished last with 19 percent of the vote and was defeated by incumbent Wayne Poston.
Salazar then turned his eyes to the Ward 4 seat for the 2018 election, but he later withdrew from the race.