PALMETTO -- Corie Holmes, an investigator and former MCSO deputy, has entered the race for the Manatee County Commission District 1 seat. Holmes touts his strong community ties and smart growth agenda as strengths, and says that he hopes to be able to represent the citizens of the county over developers and other interests he sees as having gained disproportionate influence over county government.
Holmes, 34, is a lifelong Palmetto resident whose criminal justice career dates back to the MCSO's Explorers program, which he joined at the age of 14. After achieving dual-certification, he served the department from 2001-2005, after which he left to pursue a career as an investigator with a local law firm. He's also involved with A.C.T, an non-profit organization that teaches life skills to at-risk youth.
Holmes faces formidable opposition from former Palmetto Mayor and current District 1 Commissioner Larry Bustle, a retired Air Force pilot. Bustle has received strong support from the land development industry and has been a reliable pro-growth vote. Bustle has also voted consistently with phosphate mining expansion, another industry Holmes says has too much sway in the county.
Bustle had already raised over $93,000 by the end of 2011, the last quarter reported. It's unlikely Holmes will be able to raise anywhere near that amount of financial support, however, he says he already has collected his qualification signatures, well ahead of the qualification deadline and hopes to find success with his strong roots in the community and a well-organized grass roots campaign.
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