Voters head to the polls for primary election day in Florida

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Posted: Monday, August 25, 2014 10:15 pm

SARASOTA, Fla. -  There is something for everybody in Tuesday's Primary Election.

One of the more interesting local races pits Sarasota City Commissioner Paul Caragiulo against fellow-City Commissioner Shannon Snyder. Both are vying to replace County Commissioner Joe Barbetta in District 2 who--due to term limits--can't run again.

So--what's the biggest issue for Sarasota county? They both agree it's the county's long-term "2050" plan.

The District 4 primary, to replace Nora Patterson who is also facing term limits, is between Alan Maio and Lourdes Ramirez. Maio thinks the county's biggest issue is jobs and the economy, while Ramirez says it's reducing the county deficit.

Democrats in Manatee Commission District 2 have three choices Tuesday, incumbent Michael Gallen, Corie Holmes or Charles B. Smith.

Beyond the county commission primaries--both the Sarasota County School Board and the Manatee County School Board each have three races, a majority of their 5-member respective board.

Voters in both counties will also choose between two judicial candidates, Art Jackman and Susan Maulucci,

The race that's gotten the most attention is to replace State Representative Doug Holder who has served his limit. Two political newcomers, Richard Denapoli and Julio Gonzalez are in a race that has become one of the nastiest in recent years.

Voters like Carl Langdon say negative campaigning turns him off.

"I want to hear positives about people, not slamming the other person for things that they don't agree with," Langdon said.

Prior to voting day, about 10% of voters cast a ballot in early voting or through absentee balloting. Elections Supervisors expect about 15% more to turn out on Primary Day for a total of about 25%.

Sarasota County's Elections Supervisor Kathy Dent says every vote counts, especially in Primary Elections.

"It all boils down to who gets their base out, and if you don't get your people out, your chances of winning are not likely," Dent said.

Polls are open from 7am to 7pm.

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