Official candidate qualifying period for city election starts at noon on Jan. 9

Six candidates have pre-qualified

Patrick Gannon. Photo from his Facebook page

The official candidate qualifying period for two at-large seats on the Sarasota City Commission will begin at noon on Monday, Jan. 9, and end at noon on Friday, Jan. 13, the Office of the City Auditor and Clerk has announced.

Qualifying packets are available at that office, located at City Hall in downtown Sarasota, and on the city website at

“Candidates, including those currently pre-qualified, must qualify during the official time frame to be placed on the ballot,” a news release says. The election will be held on Tuesday, March 14, with a runoff, if needed, scheduled for Tuesday, May 9.

The latest person to join the race is city Planning Board member Patrick Gannon, who noted that fact during an appearance before the City Commission during its regular meeting on Jan. 3 (See the related story in this issue.)

Gannon joins Jennifer Ahearn-Koch, a marketing and public relations consultant who also is a former Planning Board member; past commissioner and mayor Fredd “Glossie” Atkins; attorney Hagen Brody; businessman Martin Hyde; and incumbent Susan Chapman.

The other incumbent, Commissioner Suzanne Atwell, announced in November that she would not seek re-election.

Hagan Brody. Photo from his campaign Facebook page

Brody, a Sarasota High School graduate, is a former county prosecutor, his campaign Facebook page points out. A statement posted on the page on Jan. 3 says that in just the two weeks since he announced his candidacy, “he has seen significant support and has been connecting with folks excited to see him in the race.” Through individual donations, it adds, he has raised more than $5,000 for his campaign.

Hyde was the first of the six to figuratively throw his hat in the ring. His latest campaign finance report — submitted on Jan. 3 — shows he has raised a total of $29,938.40 and has spent $20,823.40. For the month of December, he received $7,300 in cash and checks, the report says.

Gannon, who has served as president of the Downtown Sarasota Condominium Association since March 2015, is managing director of SaraBay Advisors, according to his LinkedIn profile. That firm provides research, consulting and advice “on topics related to the intersection of science, technology, standards and sustainability,” the profile adds. He has held that position since August 2014, the profile notes.

Fredd ‘Glossie’ Atkins. Image from the candidate

To qualify for the election, each person must have resided in, and been a qualified voter in, the city of Sarasota for a minimum of one year “immediately preceding the commencement of the upcoming term of office on May 12,” the news release adds. Every candidate also must submit the following documents to the Office of the City Auditor and Clerk by noon on Jan. 13:

  • A petition verified by the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections with a minimum of 25 signatures of registered voters within the city.
  • Form DS-DE-9: appointment of campaign treasurer and designation of campaign depository for candidates.
  • Form DS-DE-84: statement of candidate.
  • Form DS-DE-25: oath of candidate, which has been executed and notarized.
  • Form 1 2016: completed statement of financial interests for the 2016 calendar year.
  • A $264.95 election assessment fee or an Affidavit of Undue Burden, if applicable.

Early voting for the March election will be held Monday, March 6, through Saturday, March 11, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Office, the news release says. That office is located in the Terrace Building at 2001 Adams Lane in downtown Sarasota. If a runoff is required, early voting for that will be held Monday, May 1, through Saturday, May 6, the release adds.