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Sarasota Thursday, Mar. 15, 2018 2 years ago

Sixth candidate joins race for County Commission

Ruta Jouniari is the sixth candidate to file their intent to run for the County Commission, and the second Democrat.
by: Cassidy Alexander Staff Writer

Democrat Ruta Jouniari has announced her intention to run for the Sarasota County Commission District 2 seat.

Jouniari ran in the special election for the Florida House of Representative District 72 seat, but lost the primary to Margaret Good, the eventual winner.

Jouniari is a small-business owner and community health advocate.

“We need sustainable development, environmental protection and affordable housing to preserve our quality of life,” she said in a statement.

Jouniari is the second Democratic candidate seeking a County Commission seat. A Democrat hasn’t been elected to the commission in almost 50 years.

Read: Petitioners race to change format of County Commission elections

Republican Alexandra Coe also filed her intent to run for the District 2 seat being vacated by current commissioner Paul Caragiulo, but said in an email there is a chance she might not run.

Republican Christian Ziegler announced his intent to run for the same seat in February, and was endorsed by Caragiulo.

District 2 encompasses Longboat Key and downtown Sarasota.

Incumbent Al Maio will seek re-election in District 4, representing Siesta Key and much of Sarasota County, and will be challenged by Republican Lourdes Ramirez and Democrat Wesley Beggs.

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.

I’m Cassidy. I cover news in Sarasota County, Siesta Key and the schools, plus community events if they involve dogs. I’m a Florida native, and University of North Florida graduate with degrees in journalism and graphic design. Reach me at 941-366-3468 ext. 304.

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