The reverberations are being felt across Manatee County as Republican voters supported candidates that believed and acted like their leader Governor Ron DeSantis. Long-time commissioner Carol Whitmore was soundly defeated by newcomer Jason Bearden. Whitmore has served Manatee County since 2006 and has been instrumental in funding the Premier Sports Complex at Lakewood Ranch. Whitmore also helped fund the East County Library. Whitmore was a native of Manatee County and truly loved this community.
Whitmore became a strong proponent of county employees and a strong opponent of Manatee County Administrator Scott Hopes. Whitmore was a close friend of former County Administrator Coryea and worked behind the scenes to put roadblocks in the way of the Commissioners who ultimately replaced Coryea with Hopes. Whitmore also enlisted County Clerk Angelina Colonneso to help her in thwarting the commissioners action in firing Coryea.
The voters appear to approve of the changes that Commissioners van Ostenbridge, Kruse, Baugh and Satcher have put in place. Rarely do you see incumbents lose in landslides but tonight was a tsunami in Manatee County politics. Hopefully the new Commissioners will focus on their work and love Manatee County as much as Commissioner Whitmore.