BRADENTON – The first County Commission seat to be decided this election year will be for the District 4 seat in the Aug. 26 primary election. Commissioner Robin DiSabatino will defend her seat against challenger Tim Norwood. With no Democrat candidate, the Aug. 26 ballot box will decide which will be the next District 4 Commissioner.
This will be the second time the two have challenged the other for the job. Back in 2010 DiSabatino was the victor over Norwood in the Republican primary. DiSabatino's first words were to thank METV, and others for the opportunity and then turned to Norwood and pledged the debate to be one of civility.
Norwood admitted to being a little nervous but said he was up to the job if given the opportunity. He said he and his wife saved their dollars for the race and hasn't accepted any help from special interests.
Norwood said he had the engineering skills that it takes to fix traffic problems, and address development in the district.
DiSabatino said she has fought for more jobs, to lower crime and make the district safer. The sitting commissioner said she has "worked tirelessly to address unemployment" and that the Manatee County Sheriff's Office has been "hands on" to keep crime down.
The commissioner said she supports the Sheriff's budget, "to get the job done." She said that FDOT has been "working harder and longer," on roads in the district, and that she has worked to improve buses, bike paths and encouraged carpooling.
Norwood said some people have been waiting four years for better sidewalks and that the traffic problems need to be addressed now. He said he would "take the bull by the horns and clean things up," adding, "I've taken on the gang violence in my own neighborhood, I take it personally and have gotten into the trenches to fight."
DiSabatino said "the county lacks administrator leadership, then added that she is not the developers' darling many thought she would be before her election; and that she is "the peoples' darling." The commissioner identified herself as a "public servant."
Norwood said he was a "heavy lifter with solutions to the problems."
Both thanked all that attended and each asked that they be supported with a vote on Aug. 26.
DiSabatino reminded viewers that it will be an open election where all of those that reside in District 4, Republicans, Democrats and Independents, can cast a vote for whom they want their next commissioner to be.