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Manatee County Elections: Three Commissions, One School Board Seat Open

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Voters will decide the winner of the three Board of County Commission and Manatee County School Board run-offs in the  Eight November election. (Christine Borden/Patch)

MANATEE COUNTY, FL — Tuesday's general election commission left Manatee County voters with several decisions to make

Not only will they decide three Board of County Commission races, but they will choose the winner of the Manatee County School Board run-off.

School Board Manatee County

In the August primary election, the top two of three candidates advanced to the Nov. 8 run-off election for the Manatee County School Board District 2 seat — Harold E.  Byrd Jr. and Cindy Spray
Byrd, a former Bradenton city councilor, wrote in response to Patch's candidate questionnaire, “It is clear that the Manatee County School Board has not prioritized the needs of all sectors of our community over the past year.  The importance of addressing existing equity gaps is so that all students have an equal opportunity to learn.  A commitment to public service applies throughout the entire school district.  My dream is that our school system will be more inclusive of all residents and not just a few.  I have the education, experience and ability to lead.  We need a transformational leader who will change the old ways of doing things in a more professional direction for the good of all our citizens.
Spray, who did not respond to the survey, began her career as a bookkeeper in her native Indiana, working in several departments for PepsiCo before landing a job in manufacturing, according to her campaign website.  She then moved to Florida and worked as a bookkeeper for Tropicana Federal Credit Union.

County Commission of Manatee County Board

In the Manatee County Board of County Commission races, the District 2, 4 and 6 seats will be filled.

  Democrat Reggie Bellamy and Republican Amanda Ballard are running for the District 2 seat.
Bellamy, who did not respond to Patch's survey, has served on the commission since 2018 and sits on the Manatee County Port Authority board.

  Before he joined the commission, he spent more than 20 years working with youth in the county.  The roles include dean of Buffalo Creek Middle School in Palmetto and serving as executive director of the Palmetto Youth Center, according to his campaign website.

  He plans to work with law enforcement on community safety issues, advocate for employee and veteran housing, and support workforce development to create new jobs in the county.

  Ballard, who did not respond to the survey, has spent her legal career as an attorney in Manatee County's child welfare system.

  According to her campaign website, she supports Gov. Ron DeSantis "and works hard to bring economic opportunity and relief to the most underserved areas of Manatee County."

How to vote and where?

To cast your vote in the 2022 General Election, you will need to bring a valid and current photo and signature ID to your polling station.  Without proper identification, you can still vote on a provisional ballot, which will then be evaluated by the canvassing board for eligibility.

  If you're not sure where to vote, you can find your polling place on the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections website.  Model ballots are also available at that link.

  Polling stations are open from 7 am to 7 pm.  If you stand in the queue at 7 pm on November 8, you will be allowed to vote, but if you come to the polling station after 7 pm, you will not be allowed to vote.

Thank You So Much Manatee County Elections: Three Commissions, One School Board Seat Open For Reading This Article.

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