Updated Aug. 18, 2019 – BRADENTON BEACH – When informed that former City Commissioner Jan Vosburgh plans to challenge him for his Ward 3 commission seat, Commissioner Randy White said today he will not seek re-election.
“With reconsideration, I am withdrawing my candidacy for city commission. I recognize my inability to schedule my physical attendance at short-notice special meetings,” White stated in a text message he sent to The Sun.
White has missed several recent city meetings and in the past six months has participated in many meetings by phone.
White said personal considerations also factored into his decision. His wife is a Canadian citizen who lives in Toronto.
“It is the responsibility for all candidates to commit that they will be physically able to serve the residents. I appreciated the opportunity to be your commissioner and encourage others to run,” White said in his text message.
Last week, Vosburgh and White filed their preliminary paperwork with the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office. The preliminary forms name the candidates’ campaign treasurers and state they understand the requirements placed on them by Chapter 106 of the Florida Statutes.
Vosburgh served 6½ years as a Bradenton Beach commissioner before she term-limited out of office in 2016.
“I’m proud of my past accomplishments as a commissioner. The city is running well under Mayor John Chappie and I want to be part of the work that still needs to be done. If elected, I will be devoted to serving our citizens and the city,” Vosburgh said.
White is serving the second year of his inaugural two-year term in office. He took office in 2017 after defeating incumbent commissioner Ralph Cole in the Ward 3 race.
In 2017, city voters also eliminated the city’s geographically-based commission wards and Cole was later appointed to fill the commission seat Chappie vacated after he won the mayor’s race in that same election cycle.
In 2018, Cole and Marilyn Maro were elected as at-large commissioners. That year, city voters also restored the commission wards in support of a charter amendment proposed by the charter review committee.
Earlier this year, when the city commission established the ward boundaries that now apply to the 2019 elections, the boundaries were changed in a manner that left White in Ward 3 and placed Cole in Ward 4.
Due to the 2017 elimination of wards and the 2018 restoration of wards, White would not have been eligible to run in 2019 had those boundaries not been changed. Ward 3 now encompasses the entire area between the south side of the Cortez Bridge and the southern city limits at the Longboat Pass Bridge.
The southern boundary of Ward 4 is now the north side of the Cortez Bridge. In 2020, Cole will be eligible to run for election as the Ward 4 commissioner if he wishes.
As of today, no additional candidates had filed preliminary paperwork to run against Chappie in the mayor’s race or Commissioner Jake Spooner in the Ward 1 commissioner’s race.
Bradenton Beach’s week-long candidate qualifying period begins at noon on Monday, Aug. 26 and ends at noon on Friday, Aug. 30.
For more qualifying information, visit the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections website or call the city clerk’s office at 941-778-6311.