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Bower to Run as NPA Candidate in November

BRADENTON – In a last-minute switch, district 3 county commission candidate Matt Bower has dropped out of the closed August Republican primary in order to run with no party affiliation in November, giving all voters in the district a say in the race.

Bower issued the following statement after making the switch just ahead of Friday's noon deadline:

"Today, I am proud to announce that every voter in West Manatee and, specifically, the District 3 County Commission seat will be allowed to cast their vote for the best representative. After much thought and counsel from friends and colleagues, I have decided to run for election as a nonpartisan candidate.

This decision came as a result of the developers' ploy to throw in a write-in candidate, closing down the District 3 commissioner race to only Republican voters. While I understand the concept and the political gamesmanship to help my opponent, I believe from a fundamental and moral standpoint, that every citizen and resident of our community should have the opportunity to vote for their voice and representative of this community.

Decisions county commissioners make have an impact on all of us and should be in the best interest of the community, not special interests. The same tactic was used to close this year's District 7 at-large seat by using the write-in loophole with the same person that was the write-in when Commissioner Joe McClash ran for reelection in 2012. What is so telling about this write-in candidate is that he lives in a house owned by developer Carlos Beruff’s company. Developers Carlos Beruff, Pat Neal, SMR and Benderson have heavily funded my opponent’s campaign, and I refuse to accept donations from developers.

The tide has been changing for some years now. The people of this community have caught on to the fact that the developer-funded candidates and elected officials have been doing a terrible job leading our community and adding to the irresponsible growth that has put us far, far behind in our traffic solutions, aging and failing infrastructure while doing nothing of any significance to wage war on the environmental problems that continue to plague our surrounding waters and habitat.

As you did during my last candidacy in 2016, I hope that you will join me in November by casting your vote for Matt Bower. A vote for Matt Bower is a vote saying we have had enough of special interest and you’re electing a leader among leaders to be your voice. Thank you for your continued support. Please help spread the word. With your help, and our grassroots efforts we will get to the finish line."

Bower and Republican KevinVan Ostenbridge will appear on the November ballot for the race. All registered voters in district three, which includes West Bradenton, Cortez and Anna Maria Island, will now be able to cast votes in the race.


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