Two out of the four seats up for re-election in March are being contested this year.
At-large Commissioner Terry Gans is no longer running for his at-large seat against Country Club Shores resident Armando Linde.
Instead, Gans qualified for the District 3 seat being vacated by Vice Mayor David Brenner. Gans will now run against District 3 challenger Ray Rajewski.
L’Ambiance resident Irwin Pastor, meanwhile, qualified Nov. 15 for the at-large seat that Gans is vacating and will run against Linde for that seat.
Gans said “no one and no thing” influenced his decision to run for the District 3 seat, “other than Ray.”
On Nov. 13, Gans was preparing to be a candidate for re-election for his at-large seat when he read the e-Edition of the Nov. 14 Longboat Observer.
In a Nov. 14 story, “ULI study: worth $133,816.35?,” Rajewski said there were two ways to answer the headline’s 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. 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, because 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.
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.
Pastor lost his bid for the at-large seat last year when he ran against Gans. Gans won by 27 votes.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to run for the at-large seat again,” Pastor said.
With Pastor and Linde running for an at-large seat that Gans is vacating, the town is ensured one new fresh face on the commission next year.
The deadline to qualify for the March 25 municipal election was Nov. 18.
District 1 Commissioner Lynn Larson and District 5 Commissioner Pat Zuns are unopposed for their seats this year.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected]