The District 6 at-large seat in the Manatee County commission has attracted the greatest number of candidates, and also the greatest number of candidate withdrawals. Two Republicans, a Democrat and a no-party affiliate candidate all decided not to run for various reasons.
The ones still in the running for the Aug. 28 Republican primary are incumbent Carol Whitmore, who is seeking re-election to a fourth term, and challenger James A. Satcher.
The district covers the entire county.
The winner of the Aug. 28 primary will face off with Candace Luther in the general election on Nov. 6. Luther is running with no party affiliation.
Whitmore was born in Detroit, before moving to Manatee County 49 years ago in 1969. She is a graduate of Manatee High School, Manatee Technical College and State College of Florida.
Whitmore grew up on Anna Maria Island, living in Holmes Beach, where she served as city commissioner from 1991-1998. She then served as Holmes Beach mayor from 1998-2006 before being elected to the Manatee County Commission in 2006.
She also pursued a nursing career and has worked at Manatee Memorial Hospital and Manatee Springs. She currently works as a nurse at Florida Home Health one day a week.
Political party: Republican
Home life: Married, 4 children
Occupation: Manatee County District 6 commissioner, registered nurse
The biggest issue: Infrastructure. “The big thing is infrastructure. I believe I’m the only commissioner in both counties who’s been endorsed by Senator Bill Galvano and I plan to use my relationship with him to get the study accelerated regarding the DeSoto Bridge, which is planned for 2023. I’d like to move that up because of our traffic congestion is awful. (The study regards the eventual replacement of the DeSoto Bridge as well the location of a new bridge over the Manatee River)
Three priorities, if elected: Infrastructure, attracting new businesses for economic growth, quality healthcare.
Campaign message: “I am respected by the community. I have a steady hand and I’ am very fiscally conservative, I believe in living within our means.
Endorsements: Bill Galvano, President-designate of Florida Senate; the mayors of Bradenton, Holmes Beach, Bradenton Beach and Anna Maria; Donna Hayes, former county commissioner; Ron Getman, former county commissioner; John Horne, Anna Maria Oyster Bar; The Manatee County Medical Society PAC, Gulf Coast Builders Manatee-Sarasota Realtors Association; Karen Bell, Star Fish Company Market & Restaurant; John Banyas, Cortez Kitchen.
Money spent: $60,919
James A. Satcher
Satcher was born in Rome, Ga., before moving to Manatee County in 2014. He and his family live in Parrish. Satcher has worked in various ministry roles for over 15 years, he says. He has pastored a church for 4 years and ran the nonprofit Satcher Evangelistic Association to help the people of Haiti for 8 years. For the past 2 years he has also overseen the Acts of Love nonprofit, which works to combat human trafficking in the U.S.
He has never held public office.
Political party: Republican
Home life: Married, 4 children (another expected in October)
The biggest issue: An absence of leadership has let traffic, safety, and water quality all get out of control.”
Three priorities, if elected: “Move to hire the deputies (that) the sheriff has been denied; build and improve the roads that have been ignored; and take an honest look at whether we are feeding the red tide by approving developments and fertilizer mining.”
Campaign message: “Manatee County needs new leadership to keep us safe and prosperous. I’m a Christian first, Conservative second, and Republican third.”
Endorsements: Robin DiSabatino, District 4 commissioner; Jonathan Bruce, former county commissioner; Tea Party Manatee; Fraternal Order of Police; the Christian Family Coalition.
Money spent: $7,177.64
The nominee will face no-party affiliate Luther, a dental hygienist. As of the latest report Luther has raised $4,490 and spent $3,759.
As of Jul. 30, there were 240,419 residents registered to vote in Manatee County: 103,829 are Republicans, 73,431 are Democrats and 63,159 are listed as other.
Early voting began Aug. 18.