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Manatee County Elections

Manatee County Elections

With the approach of election year, WSLR is here to provide information regarding the upcoming 2024 elections.

Not registered to vote? Solve that issue by registering to vote online! Florida citizens can register to vote here.

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 Manatee County offices up for election during the 2024 year. The candidates of each office are also included with a brief description of who they are and what they stand for.

Offices up for Election

Property Appraiser

The Manatee County Property Appraiser estimates the market value of a piece of property. This estimated amount is the basis upon which the property is appraised. Florida law states that every property must be inspected at least once every five years.

Write-in candidate Travis Dale Casper has qualified to run for the seat, thus ensuring the Republican primary is closed.

Candidates

Charles E. Hackney - REP - incumbent

Hackney has served Manatee County for over 26 years since his election in 1992. He has over 15 years of private professional real estate appraisal experience, allowing him to be elected in six subsequent election cycles. He is a member and former president of the Florida Association of Property Appraisers. He's also a member of the International Association of Assessing Officers. Hackney accepted an appointment to the Manatee Community College Board of Trustees in 1982 and served for over 20 years as a Director on the Manatee Community College Foundation Board upon the expiration of his term. He was also a former president and board member of the Kiwanis Club of Bradenton and is a member of the Hernando DeSoto Historical Society.

DARIN George - rep

According to his candidate filing documents, George is a resident of Ellenton. A LinkedIn account believed to be associated with George says that he is Vice President of Sales for a medical billing services company, PracticeForces. His profile also says he is a 1996 graduate of Auburn University having earned his Bachelor’s in Marketing. George and his wife Karen are “The Movement Coordinators” at The Source Church, according to the church’s website. (Source: The Bradenton Times)

Travis Dale Casper

Write In Candidate

Clerk of The Circuit Court and Controller

The Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Controller is responsible for  a wide range of record keeping, information management, and financial administration services.

Their duties include coordinating, scheduling, attending, and keeping records of court hearings and trials. The Clerk is also responsible for processing all civil and criminal cases. They must file indictments, information, and verdicts. When cases are appealed, they are responsible for preparing appellate records.

Candidates

ANGEL COLONNESO WAS RE-ELECTED WITHOUT OPPOSITION. 

Angelina (Angel) Colonneso - rep - incumbent

Colonneso currently holds a position as the Clerk of Circuit Court and Controller. She has over 30 years of experience in public service to Manatee County, as she is a lifelong resident. She served as an Assistant State Attorney under Early Moreland for over 11 years. However, most of her years of experience have been with the Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Court and Controller. She has served in multiple departments as a deputy clerk. Colonnesa has been a member of the Manatee County Bar Association since 2000, serving as both a director and an officer. She is also a member of the Manatee Memorial Hospital Women's Action Committee, Bradenton Kiwanis Club, Manatee County Historical Commission, and the Florida Association of Women Lawyers.

Sheriff

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office is responsible for providing safety and security to the citizens and visitors of Manatee County.

The duties of the Sheriff’s Office is to provide professional and well-trained law enforcement. The sheriff is also responsible for providing deputies with necessary equipment and administrative support while working to improve procedures and techniques used by law enforcement. The office also oversees education and juvenile programs to ensure that these departments are properly managed.

RICK WELLS WAS RE-ELECTED WITHOUT OPPOSITION.

Candidates

Charles (Rick) Wells - REP - incumbent

Wells has served as the sheriff of Manatee County since 2017 and is currently serving in his second term. He was the Palmetto Police Department's police chief from 2010 to 2015. He also spent 21 years at Florida Highway Patrol, where he served as sergeant, giving him over 33 years of experience in law enforcement. Wells was named the Manatee County Law Enforcement Officer of the Year in 1991, also receiving the Manatee County Whitey Knutsen Award. He is a recipient of the Unidos Now Visionary Award in 2012, the NAACP Humanitarian Award in 2014, and the Edgar H. Price, Jr. Humanitarian Award in 2016. He is currently the executive director of the Manatee County Police League as well as chair of the Manatee County Law Enforcement Council, and of the Law Enforcement Advisory Council for Manatee Technical College.

supervisor of elections

The Supervisor of Elections is a Constitutional Officer and is elected countywide every four years.  The Sarasota Supervisor of Elections is responsible for conducting all public elections in the county, overseeing voter registration, maintaining election equipment, and overseeing adjustments made on registered voter rolls when necessary.

The Supervisor of Elections is also responsible for overseeing candidate qualifications, finance reports, and making those reports available to the public. Other responsibilities include: maintaining statistics on election results, voting history and voter registration and maintaining precinct information.

Write-in candidate Thomas Dell has qualified to run for the seat, thus ensuring the Republican primary is closed.

View the Lakewood Ranch Republican Party Debate between Satcher and Farrington here.

Read Mitch Maley’s analysis in The Bradenton Times here.

Candidates

Scott Farrington (REP)

Farrington has served 11 years as Mike Bennett's number two and previously served as a top official in Sarasota County's SOE office. He is the only certified elections administrator in Manatee County and also holds the title of Florida Master Certified Election Professional. In his resignation letter, Bennett endorsed Farrington for the Supervisor's position. * Extensive experience overseeing 50+ elections, including Presidential and Gubernatorial cycles, special, and municipal elections using professional standards in elections administration. * Strong background in voting technologies and system based on over two decades of experience along with a bachelor's and master's degree in Information Systems Management from USF College of Business. * Certified Elections Administrator and Master Florida Certified Election Professional, dedicated to running elections in a secure, accurate, and transparent manner.

James Satcher (REP) - incumbent

Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of James Satcher as Manatee County Supervisor of Elections in April 2024 after the retirement of Michael Bennett. Satcher, of Ellenton, is a Minister and a Manatee County Commissioner, representing District 1. Satcher earned his bachelor’s degree in communications from Berry College. He has no experience in supervising elections.

THOMAS W. DELL - WRITE IN CANDIDATE

From The Bradenton Times: Those who are plugged into local politics may recognize the name Thomas Whitten Dell. Mr. Dell has been prolific as a write-in candidate despite making exactly zero effort to win a race. In 2012, Dell filed as a write-in to close the District 7 Republican primary between incumbent Joe McClash (TBT’s publisher) and Beruff-backed Betsy Benac. In 2020, Dell filed again, closing the same district’s Republican primary between Beruff's arch-enemy Ed Hunzeker and George Kruse, who Beruff had supported generously the first time around and then went scorched earth on after Kruse strayed from the script. Interestingly, the address previously used by Dell when filing as a write-in has been owned by River Woods LLC since 2005. According to Sunbiz, River Woods LLC shares the same address as Beruff’s Medallion Home. In this year’s filing, Mr. Dell, 72, claims a Palmetto address that appears to belong to his son. That may be owed to the fact that River Woods LLC has applied to develop an RV park on the property where Dell formerly claimed to reside. A Thomas Whitten Dell can also be found to have made donations to several pro-development dark money PACs.

Tax Collector

The Tax Collector is responsible for directing, planning, organizing, budgeting, and implementing policies that impact local and state government. 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. 

Candidates

KEN BURTON, JR WAS RE-ELECTED WITHOUT OPPOSITION.

Ken Burton Jr. (REP)

Burton has been the county Tax Collector for 28 years, previously serving seven and a half years as the Tax Collectors Office’s Data Processing Administrator. He is an ordained deacon at the First Baptist Church of Gillette. In 2011, Burton was recognized with the Governor’s Sterling Award for Performance Excellence via the Florida Sterling Council.

County Commissioner (District 1)

The Manatee Board of County Commissioners consists of seven 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 Manatee 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.

Candidates

Carol Ann Felts - REP

Felts is a native Floridian who began her career with Allied Industries, working in cost accounting and production planning. She has resided in Manatee County for over 30 years. Felts is a community activist who has been engaged in local government for several years, including serving on the county’s citizen’s advisory ELMAC committee. This is Felts’ third time running for the county commission. She ran in 2020 as a D5 write-in candidate and filed in 2022 as a candidate for a county at-large seat.

Jennifer Lynne Hamey - NPA

Former Parrish Civic Association President Jennifer Hamey is running without party affiliation in District 1. In a news release announcing her candidacy, Hamey said she hopes to “stop the divisive chatter” on the board while addressing residents’ concerns about amenities, infrastructure and the development of rural land in District 1. Hamey began her legal career in 1998 as a paralegal before completing law school in 2006. She purchased her own firm with a partner in 2009 and moved to Florida in 2016 to practice law in Manatee, Hillsborough, and Sarasota counties. She is an active member in the Florida Bar Association, Sarasota Bar Association, and Akron Bar Association. She has also spent time with the Summit County Legal Aid Pro Bono program and was awarded Volunteer of the Year in 2011. She served on the Akron Bar Association grievance sub-committee from 2015 to 2016.

Steven Metallo - REP

Steven Metallo is a longtime Manatee County resident and school district educator. According to a campaign press release, Metallo is a “Conservative Teacher and lifelong Republican” resident of Parrish. Metallo is an Army veteran who was Airborne qualified. He has lived in Manatee County since 1976 and has been a resident of District 1 since 2004. He is a graduate of Manatee High School, where he currently teaches Advanced Economics and Government. Metallo earned his Business Administration and Sociology degree from Troy University in 1989 and became a certified teacher the following year. He has taught in Manatee County Schools since 1990. He is a husband and father, and he and his wife, Tasha, share two children. “Governor DeSantis is truly America’s Governor,” Metallo said in his campaign’s press release.

Glenn Pearson - DEM

Glenn Pearson is the vice chairman of the Manatee Democratic Party and first vice president of the Manatee County Black Democratic caucus. He's been a District 1 resident for nine years, having lived in Parrish and now Ellenton. A former television reporter and anchor, Pearson, of Ellenton, is currently a small business owner, operating a financial services company providing health and life insurance along with retirement income strategies. In an interview with Marc Masferrer (The Bradenton Journal), Pearson says he will be a champion affordable housing and a responsible steward in advocating for intelligent growth, protecting wetlands and making sure the environment is not sacrificed for short term gains.

County Commissioner (District 3)

The Manatee Board of County Commissioners consists of seven 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.

Candidates

Diana L. Shoemaker - DEM

Shoemaker is a longtime Bradenton resident and active community leader. She has over 25 years of experience in community and education program development and services. She has a passion for social justice and leadership, inspired by her mother's work to establish a local nonprofit organization. Shoemaker formerly served as President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Manatee, earning a reputation as a consensus builder, working with representatives and neighborhood residents to create affordable housing in Manatee County.

Talha (Tal) Siddique - REP

Siddique has worked in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Air Force. He is a member of the 2023-2024 class of Leadership Manatee. He currently sits on the veterans' committee and is co-chair of the membership committee for Bradenton Kiwanis. He is a member of Manatee Young Professionals, Lakewood Ranch Young Leaders Alliance, Young Republicans, Manatee County Republican Liberty Caucus, Lakewood Ranch Republican Club, the Elks Lodge, the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee Alumni Board, the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce, and Speak Out Manatee.

April Culbreath - REP

Culbreath is the current chair of the Manatee County Republican Executive Committee. She has been serving Manatee County since 1997, working as a career law enforcement officer with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office. In 2016, she began to volunteer for the Republican Party. She has also served in multiple Manatee County Republican leadership positions. According to the Herald-Tribune, the handling of finances within the Manatee County Republican Executive Committee under Chairwoman April Culbreath has led to the resignation of two executive board members and caused a rift between many executive committee members and those remaining on the board.

Jeffrey Gray

Write In Candidate

County Commissioner (District 5)

The Manatee Board of County Commissioners consists of seven 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.

Candidates

Raymond Turner - REP - Incumbent

Turner was appointed to the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners by Gov. Ron DeSantis to take over the unexpired term of former District 5 Commissioner Vanessa Baugh. He is currently running for re-election. Turner has lived in Manatee County for over 20 years and has been an active member in the community. He serves on the Manatee County Planning Commission and is the secretary of the Manatee Sarasota Building Industry Association. Turner is focused on maintaining low taxes in Manatee County while continuing to improve the quality of life for Manatee County residents.

Robert McCann - REP

McCann has been a resident of Manatee County for 17 years. He is a Navy Veteran and a recently retired physician and lawyer. He holds a Master's in Business/Health Care Administration. Dr. McCann is a parishioner of Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church and a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus. He is also a member of the Republican National Lawyers Association and the Federalist Society. McCann says he will focus on controlled and sustainable growth, water conservation, and natural source protection.

Joseph Di Bartolomeo - NPA

Di Bartolomeo is an 18 year resident of Manatee County in District 5. He grew up in a middle-class neighborhood in New Jersey, attending local public schools for K - 8 and went to Catholic High School. He received a BA in Accounting with a Marketing Management minor from Rutgers University. He also received a MBA in Finance and a 2nd MBA in Information technology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He put himself through college working in the Trucking Industry. After graduating college he worked in Banking as an internal auditor. Later he was employed by a Fortune 50 defense contractor and then for a Luxury Automotive Manufacturer. More recently he was employed by an International Cosmetics company working in International Finance implementing ERP software. He finished his private industry career working for a major software company assisting Fortune 500 companies as a Project Manager for their financial products. He is married with three sons and three grandchildren.He considers himself a "change agent", and says "any change needs to benefit everyone". His three main areas of concern that he feels need an immediate change of course: Quality of Life, Property Rights, and the Environment.

County Commissioner (District 7 - at large)

The Manatee Board of County Commissioners consists of seven 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 however District 6 and 7 commissioners are at-large members. 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.

Candidates

Kevin van Ostenbridge - Rep

Kevin Van Ostenbridge is a lifelong resident of Manatee County and is a third generation graduate of Manatee High School. Mr. Van Ostenbridge began his career in real estate on Anna Maria Island, and continues today with Boyd Realty. In 2015, he founded Be Easy Tours, a Bradenton-based excursion company. Ostenbridge was elected to the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners in 2020 and is currently running for re-election. He served as chairman in 2022 and second vice-chairman in 2021. He currently serves Manatee County Port Authority, Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, Tampa Bay Estuary Program, Manatee/Sarasota MPO, and the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council. He is a member of the Manatee County Chamber of Commerce board of directors, transportation and legislative committees, Bradenton Kiwanis Club, and the Republican Executive Committee.

George W. Kruse - Rep - Incumbent

Kruse was elected to the Board of County Commissioners in 2020 and is now running for re-election. He served as first vice chairman in 2021. He also serves as a member and chairman of the Port Authority. He also serves on the Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority, Career Source Suncoast board, Manatee County Affordable Housing Advisory Council, Manatee/Sarasota MPO, Gulf Consortium, Value Adjustment Board, and the City of Bradenton Affordable Housing Advisory Board.

Sari A. Lindroos-Valimaki - DEM

Sari Lindroos-Valimaki, a former management information systems consultant, is the first Democrat to enter this year’s race for the at-large District 7 seat on the Manatee County Commission now held by George Kruse.

Nathan Meyer

Write In Candidate

manatee county School Board

The School Board of Manatee 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.

School Board candidates will face off in the August Primary.  If no candidate receives more than 50% of votes then the top two candidates advance to the general election.

District 1 Candidates

Heather Felton - Nonpartisan Race

Felton has been involved in the Manatee County education system for nine years before recently leaving in May to pursue a seat on the school board. Since then, she has been volunteering and working as a private tutor. Felton intends to focus on providing a safe and welcoming learning environment for students. She believes her experience as a parent, former teacher, and wife of a law enforcement officer makes her a qualified candidate for this position.

Mark Stanoch - nonpartisan race

Stanoch was born in Jersey City, New Jersey and spent most of his life in the Garden State. He attended parochial schools through high school and graduated St. Peter’s College with a BS degree in Psychology. He pursued graduate degrees in Management Science and Statistics at Stevens Institute of Technology and Rutgers University. He and his wife have been residents of Manatee County since 2008. They have three sons. The oldest lives in the area with his wife and two children. Both grandchildren attend Manatee County schools. Providing the best possible education for all Manatee County children underlies the motivation for his campaign.

Alexander (Alex) Garner - nonpartisan race

Alex Garner is a fourth generation Manatee County resident. He graduated from USF with a degree in Business Marketing back in 2011. He currently runs Garner Wealth Management, his financial advising firm. During Covid, he felt the calling to teach. Besides running his business, he also currently teaches business classes at Palmetto High School. He is married to Ashley Garner, who is also a lifelong Manatee County resident. Ashley is a kindergarten teacher at Rogers Garden Elementary school. Alex has had a lot of involvement in the community over the years. He is currently a member of the Bradenton Kiwanis club and the North Manatee Kiwanis Club, as well as the PHS facility advisor for both Key Club, and FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America).

District 3 Candidates

CHARLIE KENNEDY - Nonpartisan Race

Former Manatee County School Board member Charlie Kennedy has filed to run for election to the District 3 seat currently held by Mary Foreman. Kennedy previously served as the board's District 2 representative from 2014 to 2022. “If elected to return to the school board, my constituents can expect I will work with my fellow board members to ensure financial stability, continued academic improvements, fidelity to Florida law, and building board consensus—even on tough issues—through the superintendent, staff, and public input,” Kennedy said in a press release announcing his candidacy. Kennedy has been an educator for two decades. He has taught in various states, including Florida, where he’s taught at Manatee High School and IMG Academy. He currently works at Daughtrey Elementary in Bradenton. During his previous tenure, Kennedy's board colleagues elected him to serve twice as chair and twice as vice chair. Kennedy supported a referendum for additional millage funds to support teachers, staff, and academic enrichment. The measure was approved by voters, resulting in Manatee County teachers being among the highest-paid in the state. Kennedy has already earned the endorsement of Foreman, who will not be seeking another term.

Jonathan Lynch - Nonpartisan Race

Jon Lynch is the owner of a Cortez marina.

PERRI ANN PARKMAN - Nonpartisan Race

To see a complete list of the candidates that have filed to run for Manatee County offices, please visit: https://www.votemanatee.com/Candidate-Information/Local-Candidates-Committees.