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More Candidates File for 2024 County Commission Races


MANATEE COUNTY — Much to the liking of many Manatee County residents frustrated with their elected officials, four of the seven seats on the county commission are on the ballot in 2024. This week, Jennifer Hamey, an attorney who lives in Parrish, was the latest to enter the fray.

Hamey has filed as an NPA (no party affiliation) candidate for the District 1 seat currently held by Republican James Satcher. She will face the winner of a Republican primary that so far features Satcher and Myakka-based activist Carol Felts. No Democrat has filed to run for the seat thus far.

"Manatee County residents, and more specifically District 1, have a lot of needs that are not being met," wrote Hamey in a press release announcing her bid. "There are environmental concerns, infrastructure deficiencies, lack of communication by our current representatives, and a failure to understand the real needs of the community residents and businesses in the area. I live and work in this community and have been heavily involved in local efforts for several years. I intend on working hard to rectify the concerns that I have seen and heard about from many in the community. I plan to build a vast coalition of support regardless of party affiliation. The issues facing our district aren’t as partisan as some would like you to believe. It’s time to stop the divisive chatter and fix the issues facing real people."

Hamey says she has been a registered Republican and Democrat in the past, but that she ultimately decided she did not fit in either box. Instead, Hamey said she chooses to focus on the issues facing her district and the county from a non-partisan perspective "in order to find active solutions, not just more divisive rhetoric that leads to inaction on the real issues."

"I believe that we need to focus on our commercial growth as the quickest way to alleviate some of the traffic congestion," wrote Hamey. "We know it will take years to catch up on infrastructure, but if we can bring commercial to the area, then we can play, work, and eat where we live and lessen traffic on the roads. I also appreciate that Myakka City is not Parrish, Palmetto, or Ellenton and the residents of that area have different needs and wants. I will work to hold the FDAB line as originally promised since there are no utilities, infrastructure, or roads even planned for by the county at this time. It would be irresponsible to do otherwise at a major cost to taxpayers."

Hamey has an impressive resume of community involvement, including being president of the Parrish Civic Association for the past two years. She is also on the board of Take Stock in Children and serves as a mentor to one of the students in the program.

District 7

April Culbreath, Chair of the Manatee County GOP's Republican Executive Committee, also recently filed to run. Culbreath, a career law enforcement officer with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, is running as a Republican in District 7, one of two countywide (at-large) seats on the seven-member board. TBT has yet to receive a campaign release from Culbreath and was not able to locate a campaign website.

April Culbreath
April Culbreath

Incumbent District 7 Republican George Kruse has not yet announced whether he will file to seek a second term. Currently, Keith Green, who has also filed to seek the Republican nomination, is the only other candidate in that race.

Other races

Ray Turner, who was appointed to the District 5 seat by Governor Ron DeSantis to fulfill the remainder of Commissioner Vanessa Baugh's term when the latter retired, has filed to seek the Republican nomination in that race. So far, he is unchallenged in the race.

In District 3, incumbent chair Kevin Van Ostenbridge has filed to seek reelection. Republican Tal Siddique has filed to challenge Van Ostenbridge in the Republican primary, while Diana Shoemaker has filed to run in that race as a Democrat.


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  • Cwright

    *Please take note!! Candidate April Culbreath is ONE OF THEM. Same as the Slime-Ball Six commissioners currently put in place by the likes of Anthony Pedicini and his buddy, the self-proclaimed “Professional Propagandist” Jennings Lawton DePriest, April Culbreath is being financed by the same developers and BIA as the current Board Of Corrupt Commissioners who we must vote OUT.

    Friday, October 13, 2023 Report this

  • Cat L

    Good to see another candidate has filed. Every one of those seats needs to be challenged. (With the exception of Commissioner Kruse, who seems to have regained his senses.)

    Friday, October 13, 2023 Report this

  • gdrahal

    One party has ruled for 20+ years. The only way for change is to VOTE for change.

    Friday, October 13, 2023 Report this