By Tom Vaught
SUN PHOTO/CINDY LANE
Bradenton Mayor Wayne Poston
congratulates Carol Whitmore after she learns that
she had won the Republican primary for the Manatee
County Commission.District Six seat.
sun staff writer
Holmes Beach Mayor Carol Whitmore has passed the first
test of her quest for the Manatee County Commission District
6 seat by beating three opponents in the primary race.
With 136 of 137 precincts reporting Tuesday night, Whitmore
had 10,921 votes for 47 percent of the vote against 7,279
votes for 32 percent of the total for Frank Brunner.
Craig Trigueiro had 3,849 votes for 17 percent and Stella
Burnett had 970 votes for 4 percent.
Whitmore was restless Tuesday night at the Twin Dolphin
Marina in Bradenton as she waited for election results
with Bradenton Mayor Wayne Poston, Manatee County Commissioner
Pat Glass, Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce Executive
Director Don Schroder and several dozen family and friends.
Sporting a pink blouse with a peek-a-boo flower cutout
in the back, she circled the room, keeping one eye on
the television sets.
When Pat Glass talks, people listen. Glasses stopped
clinking, conversation screeched to a halt, and Glass
announced the first report that Whitmore was leading
her nearest opponent, Frank Brunner, with 8,550 votes
to his 5,388.
"That’s all?" Whitmore asked, referring
to the small number of voters who went to the polls on
Tuesday. Then, as she was congratulated by those who
believed that she had locked up the race, reality sank
in, and she started to beam.
Whitmore will face Democrat Sarah Meaker in the Nov.
7 election for the seat, which was previously held by
Glass, who decided not to run for re-election. After
the news of her victory sunk in, Whitmore expressed gratitude.
"I'm very happy," she said. "I'm totally
overwhelmed at all the support that I got. I worked hard,
I did a good campaign and raised enough money that most
people would have taken six months to raise.
"I had a lot of grass roots support," she
added. "I just want to thank everybody for all that
they did. I got so much support. I worked so hard all
these years in politics."
Whitmore, 51, who grew up on Anna Maria Island, was
first elected to the Holmes Beach City Council in 1991.
She successfully ran for mayor of Holmes Beach in 1998.
She was acclaimed as being instrumental in getting a
trolley system on the Island. She also spearheaded the
city’s construction of the skate park, located
south of city hall.