• Citizens4DistrictPower

Three challengers offer fresh perspectives

Updated: Oct 29, 2020

In 2018, Sarasota's citizens stared in disbelief as the Board came within an ace of giving a big campaign contributor the right to build a dump at a majestic bird sanctuary. Then came approvals for Benderson's Siesta Promenade and Pat Neal's Grand Lake. Then, Skye Ranch. . .Waterside. . .Hi Hat Ranch.. . .

Thousands of new housing units going up on vacant land as wastewater spilled from a disintegrating infrastructure.

In 2018, the citizens of Sarasota County woke up.

They worked for months gathering signatures to put a Charter amendment on the ballot. At the polls voters countywide approved a change to the local electoral process. Instead of everyone voting for all five commissioners, citizens vote for the commissioner who represents their district. Known as Single Member District Voting, many other counties already have it.

Thanks at least in part to this change, three new candidates stepped up.

Each is a Democrat

All bring fresh, invigorating perspectives to Sarasota

None accepts contributions from developers or SuperPACs

To learn about these candidates, read on. You'll find links to each district and its issues, as well as to local media about the candidates and their races.


Mark Pienkos

District 1 Issues

Sarasota Election: Pienkos Takes On Moran In District 1 Race

Growth and accountability take center stage for Sarasota County candidate Mark Pienkos

Rural preservation and redistricting hot topics at Sarasota County Commission forum

WABC-7 Interview

Editorial by Mark Pienkos: Sarasota County voters care about rural preservation and pandemic relief

More about Mark Pienkos


Cory Hutchinson

District 3 Issues

Sarasota Election: Detert, Hutchinson Vie For District 3 Seat

Hutchinson and Detert offer differing views on variety of county issues

Bundles from developers add up in Detert’s re-election campaign

Detert takes in nearly twice as much money as her opponent

WABC-7 Interview

More about Cory Hutchinson


Alice White

District 5 Issues

Sarasota Election: Cutsinger, White Vie For District 5 Seat

Sarasota County Commission Candidates discuss economy, Covid19 recovery at virtual forum

Longtime Environmentalist Alice White seeks Sarasota County Commission Seat

WABC-7 Interview

More about Alice White


This year, the first to incorporate Single Member District Voting, the Corona Virus prevented in person "Meet and Greet" gathering. Yet Sarasota's media failed to step up: They held no forums or zoom debates -- a total dereliction.

At least some private organizations stepped in. The CDP Blog has collected and posted all the recorded forums that could be located. These include:

Tiger Bay

The League of Women Voters



Sarasota County has had 50 years of uninterrupted, unimaginative single-party rule.

The Board pretends to be fiscally conservative, but it hands priceless development rights over to major players (Neal, Beruff, Benderson, Jensen et al) without requiring developers to pony up their fair share of development costs.

Time for a change.

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