More than 10% of registered voters have cast early or absentee ballots for the May 12 election in the city of Sarasota as of Friday morning, leaving Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections optimistic about the upcoming runoff.
“We’re looking pretty good,” said Dent. “This election has garnered a lot of attention, so I think it will bring out more voters for the runoff than normal.”
Nearly 600 residents have cast early ballots for the District 2 and 3 commissioners and two charter amendments, while the elections office has received 3,093 absentee ballots. Dent said about 12% of registered voters had cast ballots going into the first election in March.
Voters are set to decide between incumbent Eileen Normile and Liz Alpert for District 2, and incumbent Stan Zimmerman and Shelli Freeland Eddie for District 3. All city residents will decide whether to approve a charter amendment that requires a one-year residency for individuals picked to fill vacancies on the City Commission, and another amendment that requires citizens’ petitions to amend the charter be filed with city clerk before signatures are collected with the 180-day timeframe to collect the signatures being after the filing.
Click here for information on those amendments.
The commission races continue to attract partisan politics, as the Democratic Executive Party of Sarasota County and Florida Democratic Party continue to pour money into the non-partisan contest.
The local party contributed $1,200 to Alpert’s campaign and the state party spent $2,500 on Eddie’s campaign in the latest finance filings submitted Wednesday. The Florida Democratic Party gave Alpert $2,500 earlier this month.
While Eddie has the edge in campaign contributions for the District 3 race with more than $27,000 raised so far, Normile remains the top candidate in fundraising with about $43,000 in contributions. Zimmerman, who filed a personal loan for $2,000 in his latest report, has raised $13,600, while Alpert has garnered $34,250 worth of contributions.