Susan Tucker, a Republican, will face Democrat Cheryl Brandi in the general election.
Hometown: Charlotte County
Occupation: Registered Nurse
Previous political offices: None
About: As a medical professional, I found myself in a unique position. Being a practicing RN, I saw challenges and opportunities that would make a difference within the medical field of my community. Having never run for office, I sought my fellow neighbors’ approval to elect me to serve on the board. Fortunately, I won the primary and continue to dedicate myself to keeping SMH one of the top public hospitals nationally.
Why do you want to serve on the hospital board?
I want to continue providing top quality medical care to all patients, regardless of income and insurance status, as well as keeping SMH a public hospital.
What qualifies you to oversee the fiscal health of the Sarasota Memorial Health Care System?
As a candidate for the Sarasota Memorial Hospital board, my conservative fiscal stance, business acumen and healthcare background provides a complementary perspective to provide oversight, guidance and recommendations for all budgetary matters and operations for each SMH location.
What is your position on how the hospital board should use and manage its taxing authority?
The board should use and manage our citizens’ tax dollars in an extremely efficient manner. When making a decision related to SMH’s taxing authority, the board should consider how it will effect residents and be used only for those who cannot afford health care.
Do you have a position on whether the current millage rate should be raised or lowered?
As the governing body, the board and those who receive the care needed are appreciative of the generosity of our community. SMH is fortunate to be in a stable financial position and I would like to see the millage rate, in time, decreased.
If elected, what do you believe should be the top priority of the board during your term?
The top priority is to continue to offer quality medical care to all patients.
A proposed hospital in Venice is just one of the ways SMH has attempted to grow over the past few years. Do you favor or oppose pursuing a hospital in Venice? Why?
Due to the success of SMH, all affiliated programs and centers such as urgent care facilities, I am in favor of providing services to those who desire them. This includes managing the proper growth, reviewing and providing the top quality care that SMH provides in all parts of Sarasota County.
What is your position on building a hospital in Sarasota County's largest city, North Port?
North Port should be able to have a facility that offers a full range of services to meet the needs of the citizens and growing population.
What is your position on doing what Venice and other communities have done — selling and privatizing the hospital system and using the proceeds in a community foundation?
I am completely against SMH ever being sold. I enthusiastically signed the pledge to keep SMH public and a community hospital system.