The Sarasota Journal

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Qualifying week begins

SARASOTA COUNTY –– The 2020 election for local political offices somewhat officially kicks off this week with one important event for candidates.


From today, June 8, until Friday, June 12, at noon, candidates have this week to either file their petitions or pay the applicable fee to qualify for the August primary election. If candidates for a particular office face no intra-party opposition, they move on then to the November general election.

Three seats on the county commission, Districts 1, 3 and 5, are up for election this year, with District 5 being an open seat as current Commissioner Charles Hines is term-limited out.

Eleven candidates have filed for the three seats, according to Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner’s website. None have qualified as of Monday morning.

And for the first time in two decades, only voters living within one of the districts will vote this year. With the passage of the single-member district provision to the county charter I 2018, voters eliminated the need for commission candidates to run county-wide.

Turner has filed to continue as Supervisor of Elections as have Clerk of the Circuit Court Karen Rushing, Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coats, and Property Appraiser Bill Furst.

With the impending retirement of Sheriff Tom Knight, two candidates have filed seeking to replace him.

Also on the local ballot are the District 2 and District 3 seats on the School Board, five seats on the Charter Review Board, and four seats on the Hospital Board.

Finally, qualifying is also underway for the respective councils or commissions in the cities of North Port, Venice, Sarasota and the Town of Longboat Key.

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Warren Richardson
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