With the approach of election year, WSLR is here to provide information regarding the Sarasota County elections.
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For those looking to vote by mail, don’t forget that vote-by-mail requests made prior to November 8, 2022 have expired. Requests can be made online or in person at any election office.
Below are detailed explanations of the offices up for election during the 2024 year. The candidates of each office are also included.
The Sarasota County Property Appraiser estimates the market value of a piece of property. However, this is not at which the property would be sold at; Instead, actual sales prices are determined by the data provided by professionally trained appraisers who assist the Property Appraiser. This estimated amount is the basis upon which the property is appraised. In addition to that, Florida law states that every property must be inspected at least once every five years.
Furst was first elected Sarasota County Property Appraiser in August of 2008 when he ran his campaigns on the principles of fairness and transparency.
Furst has over 40 years of experience within the real state industry, beginning his career as a Real Estate Appraiser in Coral Gables, Florida. He is a licensed real estate broker and building contractor and former president of the Sarasota Association of Realtors. He is a current member of the executive committee and board of directors of the Florida Association of Realtors and has served on the board of directors of the National Association of Realtors since 1998.
The Sarasota County Tax Collector is responsible for directing, planning, organizing, budgeting, and implementing policies that impact their local government and state. They are charged with the collection of ad valorem taxes levied by the county, the school board, any special taxing districts, and all municipalities within the county. They participate in the management of the executive branches of state government including the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, and the Department of Revenue.
Moran is currently serving as vice chair of the Sarasota County Commission. He was elected to the county commission in 2016 and re-elected in 2020. He served as the vice chair in 2019, then as chair in 2020.
Moran says he advocates conservative policies and makes it his goal to make government accountable to taxpayers and fully represent all constituents. He is committed to maintaining Sarasota as a "world-class community".
Moran owned a payroll and insurance firm in Michigan before selling it and moving to Sarasota in 2002, giving him extensive experience in business.
The Sarasota Board of County Commissioners consists of five members who serve staggered four-year terms. No commissioner may serve more than two consecutive terms, and elections are held every two years. Commissioners are elected by votes in the district in which they reside. The county commission district map can be found here.
Commissioners are responsible for overseeing Sarasota County’s management and administration. They represent the county’s interests at the state and federal level, participating in planning, and managing budgeting and finances.
Mast is a member and former chair of the Sarasota County Planning Commission, and has also served as the vice chair of the Citizen's Tax Oversight Committee. She has also spent a decade working in Sarasota County's Planning and Development Services, Neighborhood Service, and Economic Development. Mast is a member of the Building Industry Association board and the founding chair of the Professional Women in Building Council.
Mast is committed to lowering taxes, reducing traffic, and investing in talent.
Nichols currently serves on three county boards: the Historical Commission, the Citizen Tax Oversight Committee, and the Health Facilities Authority and Industrial Development Revenue Bond Citizens Advisory Committee.
He believes that Sarasota County needs a commissioner who will be focused on innovation, business expansion, and sustainable residential growth.
Nichols has been in the property management/real estate industry in Florida for more than 22 years.
Knight is a career law enforcement officer and was Sarasota County's Sheriff for 12 years.Knight is committed to protecting Sarasota County families and businesses by increasing representation within the Sarasota community. He wants to keep special interests and "hidden agendas" out of Sarasota County.
Rainford was appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis to fill the Sarasota County Commission District 3 seat.
He is a senior executive with Sarasota-based Mullet's Aluminum Products Inc.
Rainford has served the Sarasota community as a former member of the Sarasota County Planning Commission and the Charter Review Board. He has also been twice elected Secretary of the Republican Executive Committee. He also formerly served on the Board of Trustees of Tabernacle Church.
Cutsinger was elected to the Sarasota County Commission in November 2020. He served as vice chair in 2022 and is currently serving as chair for 2023. He represents the commission on the boards of the Economic Development Council of Sarasota County, Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization, West Coast Inland Navigation District, Nathan Benderson Park Conservancy, and Visit Sarasota. He also previously served on the boards of the Coastal and Heartland Estuary Partnership, and Suncoast Continuum of Care Leadership Council.
Cutsinger also holds a Series 24 Securities Principal License and is certified by the Securities and Exchange Commission as a registered investment advisor.
The School Board of Sarasota County implements policies for the school district that advance and enhance educational opportunities for students. School board members are also responsible for appointing a school superintendent who directs the day-to-day academic and operational strategies of the school district.
The school board is comprised of five members elected county-wide, and each school board member serves four-year terms on an alternating basis. The school board district map can be found here.
Barker has been a hands-on parent for nine years by volunteering, leading the PTO at Lakeview Elementary, and contributing to the School Advisory Committee (SAC). Her past experience as a school psychologist allows her to have expertise in various educational areas such as cognitive assessments or behavior interventions.
Barker aims to focus on student achievement, teacher support, and keeping culture wars out of the boardroom. Barker wishes to make teaching positions more desirable while protecting the rights for all parents. She also wishes to bring transparency to the school board and remove politics from schools.
Rose has filed for re-election for her seat on the school board, a position she has held since 2020.
Rose was a an educator and behavioral specialist before becoming the principal at Brookside Middle and Sarasota Middle School.
Rose advocates for increasing the Sarasota district's reading achievement while eliminating common core, Critical Race Theory, and social engineering programs. She emphasizes the importance of student success in reading, writing, and math.
The School Board of Sarasota County implements policies for the school district that advance and enhance educational opportunities for students. School Board members are also responsible for appointing a school superintendent who directs the day-to-day academic and operational strategies of the school district.
Edwards currently holds a seat on the Sarasota School Board and is now running for re-election.
Edwards is the co-founder and owner of two successful New York businesses, giving him over 40 years of entrepreneurial experiences. He also has 11 years of experience in small-business advocacy at the state legislative level within the New York State General Assembly.
Edwards prides himself on his accomplishments during his 2020 term, such as building community partnerships and responding to the shortage of healthcare workers. He advocates for the freedom of teachers, the rights of students and parents, as well as the preservation of public schools.
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