Coe files to challenge Mast in Republican Primary for District 1 County Commission race

She holds seat on Charter Review Board

Editor’s note: This article was revised in the morning of Feb. 9 to note that Coe first was elected to the Charter Review Board in 2020.

Alexandra Coe. Image from her Facebook page

Another Republican has filed for the District 1 Sarasota County Commission seat that Commissioner Michael Moran will vacate in November.

Alexandra Coe of Sarasota, a member of the county’s Charter Review Board, submitted her campaign paperwork to the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Office on Feb. 2, a document shows.

Coe first was elected to a two-year term on the Charter Review Board in November 2020, winning 62.81% of the 246,112 votes cast for the District 1 seat. She won re-election in November 2022, capturing 60.77% of the 211,434 votes cast in that race, election records note.

Coe is the chair of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Sarasota and past vice chair of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida.

As the state organization’s website explains, “The Republican Liberty Caucus is a 527 voluntary grassroots membership organization dedicated to working within the Republican Party to advance the principles of individual rights, limited government, and free markets. Founded in 1991, we are the oldest continuously operating organization within the Liberty Republican movement. We are the conscience of the Republican Party.”

Her LinkedIn account notes that she heads up Livable Planet Consulting and that she is an anthropologist “with a strong commitment to addressing global challenges through sustainable agriculture policy and environmental stewardship. With a diverse background and multifaceted experience,” she adds, “I bring a unique perspective to the fields of sustainability and agriculture.”

As of the deadline for the publication of this issue, The Sarasota News Leadercould find no campaign website for Coe.

In 2018, Coe was a Republican candidate for the County Commission District 2 seat. Christian Ziegler defeated her in the primary that year, winning 68.38% of the 44,063 votes. Ziegler ended up holding that seat for one term.

In the summer of 2022, Coe addressed the County Commission to oppose the Charter Review Board’s efforts to place two amendments on the 2022 ballot.

Coe stressed that the Charter Review Board (CRB) members who approved the amendments in October 2020 did not have enough public comments on them to push them forward, given the fact that the county was, as Coe pointed out, “in the middle of the pandemic.”

Further, Coe maintained that the CRB members insisted their goal was to promote clarity in regard to citizen-initiated amendments. Yet, Coe said, the proposed amendments themselves “are very vague and inconsistent.”

CRB representative Joe Justice of Venice, who was chair of the board at the time the amendments won approval, explained to the commissioners that they were designed to make certain that voters are informed about the details of any citizen-initiated Charter amendments and that the amendments comply with all facets of the Charter in regard to their validity for placement on a ballot.

Teresa Mast. Image from her campaign website

One amendment failed during the November 2022 General Election, with 51.35% of the 187,507 citizens who cast ballots on it voting “No.”
However, the second one — which called for any proposed Charter amendment not to “be in conflict with the Florida Constitution, general law, or the Charter” — won approval, with 63.94% of the 189,069 citizens who cast ballots on it supporting it.

The only other person who remains in the District 1 race is Teresa Mast of Sarasota, president of a general contracting company and former county Planning Commission member. As the News Leader recently reported, Mast’s latest campaign finance filing showed that, through 2023, she had raised $226,695.92 and had spent just $24,598.60.

Coe’s first campaign finance report will be due in March.

Qualifying for individuals seeking county seats in the 2024 election cycle will begin at noon on Monday, June 10, and end at noon on Friday, June 14, the Florida Division of Elections notes.