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Sarasota Candidate Profiles

Sarasota City Commission

All candidates are running for one of the two open at-large seats. Voters will cast ballots on all candidates during the primaries, and then select from the top three in the general election on November 8th.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

Ahearn-Koch is currently serving her fifth year as an at-large Sarasota City Commissioner. Her top three issues are preserving the environment, ensuring the right of citizens to peaceful enjoyment of their homes, and improving traffic flow and safety. Recently she has turned her attention to inclusive zoning as a possible way to boost affordable housing.

Dan Lobeck

Lobeck, a local attorney specializing in condo association law, is running because he sees no candidates “willing to stand up to the development interests who would turn this City into something less than the special place so many now seek to call home.”

Sheldon Rich

Rich is running for office because he believes the board doesn’t really listen to, or act on, citizens’ concerns. His top issues include public safety, addressing green initiatives and traffic concerns and making downtown and St. Armand’s more accessible.Rich is the owner and president of SJR Associates, LLC, a healthcare consulting company located in Sarasota. 

Terrill Salem

Salem is a licensed general contractor and real estate broker. He currently serves as chair of the City’s Planning Board. Salem hopes to "protect and preserve Sarasota as we know it,” while making the city a more affordable place to live. “The commission has made decisions that don't consider the working class people of Sarasota,” says Salem.

Carl Shoffstall

Shoffstall has worked as a licensed Commercial Pool and Spa Contractor in Florida for 40 years.  Shoffstall has also served as President of the Lido Key Residents Association since 2012, chairing the City’s Parks, Recreation & Environmental Protection Advisory Board for 12 years and the Parking Advisory Committee since its inception. 

Debbie Trice

Trice has been president of the Rosemary District Neighborhood Association for the past two years and served on the Sarasota County Charter Review Board. As commissioner, she wants to restore balance and collaboration to city decision-making, bring creative problem-solving to the community while addressing transportation, environment, and quality-of-life issues that are essential to sustaining a livable community.

Sarasota County Commission District 2

A Democrat has not served on the Commission for over 50 years. With single member districts in place, a Democratic candidate has a chance to win the District 2 seat.


Fredd Atkins

DEM

In explaining why he was running for County Commission, Atkins said, “For too long this commission has turned its back on the citizens of the county by allowing over-development, ignoring key environmental issues and not facilitating access to affordable housing for everyone.”

Hagen Brody

DEM

Hagen Brody has served on the Sarasota City Commission since 2017. Brody is a Sarasota native and worked as a state prosecutor before being elected to the City Commission. His tenure on the City Commission has not been without controversy. Brody did not respond to interview requests.

Mike Cosentino

DEM

Cosentino sees unregulated development as one of the County’s top issues, and one interconnected with two other key concerns. In his words, there are “three issues in Sarasota County, and they’re all basically peas in the same pod: lack of infrastructure, over-development, and environmental degradation.”

Lourdes Ramirez

REP

Ramirez describes herself as a fiscal conservative advocating for lower taxes and cuts to government spending. She is an active and engaged citizen who regularly advocates against what she sees as overdevelopment of the county. She is currently involved in a lawsuit with the County over the approval of an eight story hotel on the edge of Siesta Village. Ramirez previously ran for the County Commission in 2014.

Mark Smith

REP

Smith served for many years on the Siesta Key Village Association Board of Directors and was also part of the leadership of Save Our Siesta Sand 2 (SOSS2). Traffic, water quality and affordable housing are some of the issues he said he wants to focus on as a commissioner. In 2010, Smith ran an unsuccessful campaign against Nora Patterson, an incumbent, in the Republican primary for County Commission District 4. 

Sarasota County Commission District 4

Republican voters will determine the Republican candidate through the August 23 primary. The Republican candidate will face Daniel Kuether in the general election.

Mark Hawkins

REP

Hawkins previously served on the County’s Charter Review Board and also served for 5 years on the Planning Commission. He has lived in Sarasota for 60 years and is concerned with what he calls ‘out of control’ growth. His plan if elected is to focus on updating the County’s infrastructure, protecting our waterways, developing workforce housing, and lowering taxes.

Daniel Kuether

DEM

Kuether wants to join the commission to challenge the development issues he believes the current commission caters to. He has worked in the real estate industry for the last 10 years. He would also like to see multimodal transportation, increased affordable housing, and heightened environmental protections in the County.

Joe Neunder

REP

Joe Neunder is a local chiropractor and and stepped down from the Venice City Council to run for County Commissioner. Joe defines the secret to Sarasota’s success as small government, low taxes, balanced budgets, respect and support for law enforcement and first responders, and protection for the natural beauty that surrounds us.

Sarasota County School Board

School Board Elections are nonpartisan.  All three races will be decided through the August 23rd elections.

District 1: Bridget Ziegler

Outspoken republican conservative and has gained national notoriety and an endorsement from governor Ron DeSantis. She is also the co-founder of Moms for Liberty, a non-profit that campaigns against COVID-19 restrictions in schools, school curriculum that mention LGBT rights, race, critical race theory, and discrimination.

District 1: Dawnyelle Singleton

A Sarasota native running on a platform focusing on increasing the quality of life for local teachers. She is also a staunch supporter of mental health initiatives for students. Singleton is a member of the Sarasota Black Caucus and the local NAACP chapter.

District 4: Lauren Kurnov

Lauren Kurnov has an extensive background in higher education. Kurnov is running on a student-first platform that focuses on career opportunities, college placement, and maintaining Sarasota School’s “A” rating.

District 4: Robyn Marinelli

Martinelli has over 20 years working directly with local students, and spent the last 15 years of her career as a district-level administrator, overseeing Student Services for the Sarasota County School District. Marinelli has the endorsement of the Republican Party of Sarasota.

District 5: Nora Cietek

Cietek is a self-described fiscal conservative who aims to ensure that school board spending is efficient and serves the interests of the community: “If elected, my job, and the job of every school board member will be to balance the needs of our students, teachers, and staff against our responsibility to be prudent stewards of county taxpayer dollars."

District 5: Timothy Enos

Timothy Enos, the former chief of the Sarasota County Schools Police Department, is a latecomer to the race. Enos has received endorsements from State Rep. Tommy Gregory and the Sarasota Republican Party. Enos has stated that his 30 years of experience working with local students has allowed him to fully understand the mental health and security needs of local students.

Charter Review Board

District 1 - The winner of the Republican primary will face Simpson in November. All other seats are either unopposed or only on the November ballot.

Alexandra Coe

REP

Coe has served on the Charter Review Board since 2020. She is a member of the Republican Executive Committee and previously served on the Historic Preservation Advisory Board and the Historical Commission. She aims to keep the government accountable and responsive to the people.

Les Nichols

REP

Nichols has worked in the property management/real estate industry for more than 22 years. He currently served on 3 of Sarasota County's advisory committees. 

Nancy M. H. Simpson

DEM

Further information about Simpson is not readily available online.

Hospital Board

Central District, Seat 2 - This race will be decided during the August primary. It will be on the ballot for ALL voters, regardless of party affiliation. 

Thomas Dart

REP

Thomas Dart is a native of Sarasota County and has practiced law here for over 45 years. His priorities include transparency, fiscal responsibility, and recruiting and retaining good healthcare professionals and staffing. He also supports keeping Sarasota Memorial public and not-for-profit, as well as expanding accessibility in terms of affordability and geography.

Joseph J. DeVirgilio, Jr.

REP

DeVirgilio is a retired Utility Executive and part-time Management and Utility Consultant. He has served on the Hospital Board since 2013. He supports Sarasota Memorial as a public institution serving patients of all income levels. 

Bridgette Fiorucci

REP

Fiorucci is part of the "Health Freedom" slate of candidates which recently gained national attention in an article by the Washington Post. Fiorucci has worked as a registered nurse for the past 27 years. Her priority is to protect patients ability to choose from "ALL medical options available," as she writes on her website.

Northern District, Seat 1 - This race will be decided during the August primary. It will be on the ballot for ALL voters, regardless of party affiliation.

Brad Baker

REP

Baker has a background in business and is currently working on several projects to build affordable, workforce housing in Florida. His priorities include fiscal responsibility, enhancing the board's functionality, and enhancing and maintaining quality of care. 

Jim Meister

REP

Meister has served on the Hospital Board since 2015. His priorities include supporting the Hospital's mission of quality, caring, and innovative medicine; continuing the physician residency program with FSU to bring new physicians to the area; and addressing the nursing shortage by expanding the hospital's recruitment area and working with local colleges. 

Northern District, Seat 2 - Republican voters will select their candidate during the August primary. Then, all voters will decided between the winner of the primary and Libertarian candidate Jonathan Tubbs.

Nick Altier

REP

Altier has professional experience in healthcare claims analytics, consulting, and innovative healthcare technology. If elected, he will work on healthcare transparency, a direct contracting program for Sarasota employers with the Hospital, and creating an incentive program for nurses to improve retention.

Andre S. Hoefer

REP

Hoefer worked as a firefighter and paramedic for the City of North Port between 2005 and 2021. He has been a Sarasota resident for over 25 years.

Richard Rehmeyer

REP

Rehmeyer has served on the Hospital Board for six years. He is a certified ear, nose, and throat doctor who has practiced in Sarasota for more than forty years.  His priorities include the expansion of facilities and services, addressing nursing and staffing shortages, and maintaining a great workplace environment. 

Victor J. Rohe

REP

Rohe is part of the "Health Freedom" slate of candidates which recently gained national attention in an article by the Washington Post. Rohe's professional experience includes serving as the lieutenant of a police precinct, working as a stock broker, and working as a mortgage broker. His goal in running for Hospital Board is to restore confidence in Sarasota Memorial by investigating allegations of abuse.

Jonathan Tubbs

LPF

Information about Tubbs is not readily available online.

Southern District, Seat 1 - This race will be decided during the August primary. It will be on the ballot for ALL voters, regardless of party affiliation.

Darryl W. Henry

REP

Henry was the CEO for International Interoperability Initiatives before his retirement in 2006. He is the incumbent.

Patricia Maraia

REP

Maraia is part of the "Health Freedom" slate of candidates which recently gained national attention in an article by the Washington Post. Her goals on the Hospital Board are to ensure all patients receive the highest standard of care and restore community trust in Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

Southern District, Seat 2 - This race will be decided during the August primary. It will be on the ballot for ALL voters, regardless of party affiliation.

Gregory A. Carter

REP

Carter has served on the Hospital Board for 20 years. Before that, he worked at AT&T as an engineer for 31 years. Carter hopes to continue to maintain the quality of healthcare offered at Sarasota Memorial, address personnel shortages, and address supply shortages. 

Joseph Chirillo

REP

Chirillo is part of the "Health Freedom" slate of candidates which recently gained national attention in an article by the Washington Post. Chirillo worked as a family physician for 34 years before retiring in May of 2022. His priorities on the Hospital Board include addressing excessive spending, poor handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and investigating issues of possible improprieties.

Election Information

Sat., Aug 13 - Sun., Aug 21: Early Voting

Sat., Aug 13, 5 PM.: Deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot be mailed

Tues., Aug 23, 2022 - Primary Election; Elections Office must receive vote-by-mail ballots by 7pm

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