Kevin Van Ostenbridge( affectionately known as KVO) has set a record for money raised in a Manatee County Commission campaign. KVO was elected in November of 2020 and represents District 3 which includes West Bradenton,  Terra Ceia, Snead Island, Cortez and our barrier islands. 

KVO hit the ground running in 2020 and has not slowed down. He has been the linchpin in overhauling our county government. He has helped change the county administration by hiring administrators who are focused on lower taxes and limited bureaucracy. Van Ostenbridge has advocated that our county will be more attractive to business investment if it runs a tight ship while investing in the future. 

This change of approach irritated the bureaucrats who ran the county and certain elected officials who were happy to “go along to get along” while wasting taxpayer money. These officials would wrap themselves in the Republican banner while running for office but governed like officials in the Biden administration. 

KVO has championed tax cuts and more beach access for the taxpayers of Manatee county. KVO has voted to approve two budgets and both included a millage cut. He has invested in more boat ramps for Manatee County. He has also invested in more county parks and road expansions to help with traffic flows. Many of the arterial roads in the county are being expanded to help reduce congestion. 

During KVO’s tenure, Manatee County  has experienced an expansion of businesses like the new Chick-fil-a and WaWa stations. A new Target store is being built in west Bradenton. The Manatee County Convention Center is being renovated to better serve the citizens of our county. 

KVO has also helped develop a new Code-Enhancement division in county government to help clean up and beautify West Manatee county. This is a marked difference from some of the past commissions that allowed a proliferation of slum housing. 

Van Ostenbridge has voted to fully fund the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office,  which included increased funding for law enforcement, by tens of millions of dollars. This has allowed the Sheriff to put more deputies on the roads. KVO insists that Manatee County will not tolerate the violence we witness across America today. 

Kevin insisted that “I was part of a team that took the county by storm. In less than three years the taxpayers are seeing the results of electing the most conservative Board of Commissioners that Manatee County has ever had.” Needless to say, this  has irritated the Manatee Democrats and certain of Manatee County’s state constitutional officers. 

The citizens of our county appear to appreciate that KVO has been willing to take the slings and arrows from the bureaucrats and the local Democrats. He remains popular with the taxpayers.

In the 30 days since KVO filed for election, he has raised $170,000 for his campaign. Van Ostenbridge said the support for his campaign is humbling and overwhelming. He has been able to raise this record amount without having a fundraiser and even without most of his supporters knowing that he had filed to run again.

Our county has needed leaders like Kevin Van Ostenbridge that are willing to make the tough decisions that protect the taxpayers. We are fortunate that he is willing to continue in office and “fight the good fight.”

Bob Spencer
Manatee Herald

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