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Sarasota Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016 5 years ago

Sarasota-Manatee candidates to meet at forum

University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee will host state Legislature candidates Saturday, at Selby Auditorium.
by: Alex Mahadevan News Innovation Editor

Residents in Sarasota and Manatee counties will have the chance to learn more about the candidates vying to represent their districts this weekend, as Florida Legislature hopefuls will meet speak during a “Primer for the Primary.”

University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, Observer Media Group and Manatee Educational TV will hosts candidates competing in four primary races. The event will take place starting at 4 p.m., Saturday, at Selby Auditorium at USF Sarasota-Manatee, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail. The schedule for the forums is staggered as follows:

  • State Senate Democratic, District 23, Frank Alcock and Frank Cirillo, 4 p.m.
  • State House Republican, District 72, John Hill and Alex Miller, 4:40 p.m.
  • State House Republican, District 73, Joe Gruters and Steve Vernon, 5:20 p.m.
  • State Senate Republican, District 23, Doug Holder, Rick Levine, Nora Patterson and Greg Steube, 6 p.m.

While the race between Gruters and Vernon has become heated following attack mailers from the latter candidate, the race for State Senate on the GOP side has generated more political clashes due to the crowded field of candidates. That race has divided local Republican donors, with many residents placing signs for multiple candidates on their property.

The forum is free to attend, and open to the public.

For more information, email [email protected], or visit

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