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Sarasota Thursday, Mar. 1, 2018 1 year ago

More candidates seek seats on Sarasota County Commission

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Al Maio, Lourdes Ramirez, Wesley Beggs, Alexandra Coe and Christian Ziegler are planning to run for two seats.
by: Cassidy Alexander Staff Writer

Five candidates have filed their intent to run for a seat on the County Commission in 2018 so far.

Current Commissioner Al Maio will seek re-election in District 4, representing Siesta Key and much of Sarasota County.

Al Maio

Opponents so far include Lourdes Ramirez and Wesley Beggs.

Ramirez is a Siesta Key resident and former president of the Siesta Key Association and the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations.

“I volunteered thousands of hours to protect Sarasota citizens by being a voice against uncontrolled, tax-subsidized new developments,” Ramirez said on her Facebook page. “I believe in a balanced approach to development to ensure taxpayers are not burdened with their costs.”

Lourdes Ramirez

Ramirez ran against Maio for the same seat in 2014, but lost in the primary by 11,000 votes.

Beggs, a Democrat, also announced her intent to run. According to her website, she moved to Sarasota County to attend New College 10 years ago, where she earned a degree in political science. She started a marketing and media business.

“Wesley is dedicated to bringing true representation to our County Commission and understands that it is time to stand up for the environment, affordable housing, and sustainable economic development,” her website states.

Wesley Beggs

Republican candidate Alexandra Coe filed her intent to run for the District 2 seat being vacated by Commissioner Paul Caragiulo. That district covers downtown Sarasota and Longboat Key.

Coe ran for the same seat in the 2014 election with no party affiliation, but lost to Caragiulo by about 50,000 votes.

Earlier this year, Republican Christian Ziegler announced his intent to run for the District 2 seat.

To be able to run, each of the candidates must turn in petitions with 3,000 signatures from registered Sarasota County voters, or pay a qualifying fee.

Petitions or the fee are due May 21, and the qualifying period for candidates is in June. The primary is planned for Aug. 28 and the general election is set for Nov. 6.

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