SARASOTA-- On Tuesday, voters in the City of Sarasota will head to the polls to elect two people to the City Commission. There are six people vying for the two seats.
On Friday night, all of them met for a forum sponsored by the Young Advocates for Sarasota group. At the forum, candidates discussed issues currently plaguing the city, such as the homeless situation, crime on the North Trail, and issues with pensions and the budget. We asked those candidates why voters should select them. Below are some quotes taken from our conversations with each.
Mayor Suzanne Atwell (Incumbent): Atwell is seeking another four years. "It has been a wonderful four years, but I have a lot of renewable energy and I'm ready for four more."
Susan Chapman: Chapman is a current member of the City's Planning Board. "I believe I am a person in touch with normal citizens. I have been their voice on a lot of city issues, and the voice of our neighborhoods."
Richard Dorfman: Dorfman is the former Director of Broadcasting for the National Basketball Association. He ran unsuccessfully for office in 2011. "You hate to say you want to make things better, but we have got to push our potential and push the boundaries to achieve greatness."
Linda Holland: Holland is a neighborhood advocate. She lost to Vice Mayor Willie Shaw in the May 2011 election for City Commission. "This continued commitment to serve the community is just a natural thing. I just don't stop doing it."
Kelvin Lumpkin: A community advocate and local Pastor. "I am going to be a servant. We many not agree on everything, but one thing the voters can make sure of is that they will have an open ear with me."
Pete Theisen: A retired acupuncturist who has ran for public office several times. "If you could get the budget straightened out, that would be a good day's work."
Early voting concludes Saturday, March 9th. The general election is Tuesday, March 12th. Polls are open from 7a.m.-7p.m.