At-large Commissioner Terry Gans won’t run for his at-large seat against Country Club Shores resident and challenger Armando Linde.
Instead, Gans is working to refile for the District 3 seat being vacated by Vice Mayor David Brenner. Gans intends to run against unopposed District 3 challenger Ray Rajewski.
Gans said “no one and no thing” influenced his decision to run for the District 3 seat, “other than Ray.”
Early Wednesday morning, Gans said he was preparing to be a candidate for re-election for his at-large seat when he read the online e-edition of Thursday’s Longboat Observer.
In a Nov. 14 story titled “ULI study: worth $133,816.35?” Rajewski said there were two ways to answer the above question.
“It was worth it, because we now understand we have almost a perfect island,” Rajewski said. “The recommendations they came up with for the most part are so farfetched I don’t know how you implement anything. We already have a town center. It’s called St. Armands Circle. That’s where you go to walk around, see residents and get a cup of coffee. The other way to answer is, it’s a waste of money. If that’s all they can come up with, it tells me we have a pretty nice place with not a lot to improve upon.”
When Gans read those comments, he said he knew he wanted to run against Rajewski instead of Linde.
“In that edition, the comments attributed to Rajewski about the ULI study and Longboat Key served as a wake-up call to me, as his reported views are basically a negation of the work the commission has been doing for the past four years, and what I see as the spirit and desire of our community,” Gans said. “I live in District 3, Mr. Rajewski had been an unopposed candidate for District 3, and I strongly believe these positions can not go unchallenged.”
Rajewski said Gans sent him a note earlier this week letting him know of his decision.
“I’m committed to run and that’s what I’m going to do,” Rajewski said. “I’ll run my campaign and Gans will run his and we will let the voters decide where the chips will fall.”
The deadline to qualify for the March 25 municipal election is noon Monday, Nov. 18.
District 1 Commissioner Lynn Larson is currently unopposed for her seat.
The at-large seat being vacated by Gans that Linde has qualified for could have a challenger before Monday’s deadline though.
L’Ambiance resident Irwin Pastor, who lost to Gans last year for the at-large seat last year, is working to qualify for the seat before Monday’s qualification deadline.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].