July 19 forum on Siesta Key to feature candidates for County Commission seats in Districts 2 and 4

Event to be conducted in person at 5:30 p.m. at Siesta Key Chapel and also live-streamed via YouTube

Siesta Key Chapel has several buildings linked by walkways. Image from the Chapel’s website

The Island League on Siesta Key will host a July 19 forum for the candidates seeking the Sarasota County Commission seats for Districts 2 and 4.

Each of those districts represents Siesta Key residents.

The event will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Siesta Key Chapel, which is located at 4615 Gleason Ave., on the north end of the island.

The forum also will be live-streamed, the organizers say. This is the link to watch the session on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhwUbJtrEGs

The event will be nonpartisan, the organizers point out.

Three Democrats and two Republicans are campaigning for the District 2 seat that Commissioner Christian Ziegler won in November 2018. Ziegler chose not to seek re-election this year.

Two Republican candidates and one Democratic candidate are seeking the District 4 seat.

For District 2, the Democratic candidates are former Sarasota Mayor and Commissioner Fredd Atkins of Newtown, Sarasota City Commissioner Hagen Brody and Mike Cosentino of Siesta Key, who owns a construction company.

The Republicans are Lourdes Ramirez, a past president of the Siesta Key Association and the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA); and architect Mark Smith, a long-time leader of the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce.

For District 4, the Republican candidates are Mark Hawkins of Sarasota, owner of a construction company; and Dr. Joe Neunder, a Venice chiropractor and past member of the Venice City Council and the Sarasota County Planning Commission.

The Democratic candidate for District 4 is Daniel Kuether of Sarasota.

Organizers told The Sarasota News Leader that all of the candidates had confirmed their attendance on July 19. However, late in the day on July 13, they added, Neunder had to cancel because of a family obligation.

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