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Sarasota Tuesday, Jul. 30, 2019 3 weeks ago

Candidates enter City Commission race

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Ahead of the 2020 election, Erik Arroyo and Dan Clermont have announced their candidacy for the District 3 seat.
by: David Conway Deputy Managing Editor

More than a year ahead of the next City Commission election, two candidates have declared their intent to run for the District 3 seat held by Shelli Freeland Eddie.

On June 5, Erik Arroyo filed paperwork with the city entering the race. On Tuesday, Dan Clermont announced his candidacy for the commission.

Clermont, 55, is a landlord and former businessman who lives in the Arlington Park neighborhood. He said he was motivated to run because he wanted to work to overcome perceived divisions within city government.

Clermont acknowledged a lack of prior involvement with local municipal issues, but he said he saw himself as an outsider focused on trying to develop consensus.

“I see this faction and that faction, and I see the personal animus people have toward one another and I’m not about that,” Clermont said. “I don’t come with any preconceived notion about how the city should handle things. I’m a collaborator.”

In a release, Clermont's campaign identified water and wastewater management as a leading issue he hopes to address. He also said he wanted the city to emphasize sensible growth and the protection of open public space.

Arroyo’s campaign website identifies him as a business and estate planning attorney and lists his experience as a board member with the Sarasota YMCA and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast. The website lists spending, traffic and homelessness as high-priority issues.

Earlier this year, Arroyo entered the Republican primary for the District 72 seat in the Florida House of Representatives. He dropped out of that race in May. Arroyo, 29, was not immediately available for an interview.

Elections for the three district seats on the City Commission will occur in 2020 after voters approved a referendum to move municipal election dates to coincide with state and federal elections. If more than two candidates are up for a seat, a first election will be set for August, with two candidates emerging to a second election in November.

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