Five qualify for Holmes Beach election

Holmes Beach election qualifying
The seats held by Holmes Beach Commissioners Pat Morton, Jean Peelen, Marvin Grossman and Carol Soustek are all up for grabs in the November election. - Kristin Swain | Sun

HOLMES BEACH — It’s almost election time again, and for the first time in three years, Holmes Beach voters will get to voice their opinions in the race for commissioner.

At the close of candidate qualifying, noon Friday, Sept. 1, five candidates emerged, of which four will appear on the November ballot. Incumbents Pat Morton and Carol Soustek are vying for one of three open seats with residents Jim Kihm and Rick Hurst. Commissioner Marvin Grossman is the only candidate to qualify for a one-year term.

As the only candidate, Grossman automatically regains his seat on the commission for a single year. The seat is up for re-election in 2018. The quick turnaround corrects the seat’s two-year election cycle.

Previously, Grossman was up for re-election in 2016 but failed to qualify due to an application error. Instead of using a check from a campaign account, he used a personal one to pay the fees to qualify. His fellow commissioners reappointed him to the seat for a one-year term expiring in November.

With three two-year commission seats open and four candidates, voters must choose at the polls. The top three candidates after polls close receive the three seats.

Not joining the incumbents seeking re-election is Commissioner Jean Peelen. Due to health, personal and political issues, Peelen withdrew her candidacy. Instead, she’s supporting Jim Kihm as a potential successor.

“Jim is smart, ethical and totally committed to maintaining Holmes Beach as a residential community,” Peelen’s e-mail reads.

In addition to supporting Kihm’s candidacy, Peelen thanked the community for its support over the years.

“It has been an honor to serve over the last six years,” she said. “I will continue, as a civilian, to try to save this community we all love from becoming Disney West.”

Holmes Beach residents go to the polls Nov. 7. For more election information or to register to vote, visit the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections.