Bill Galvano hosts fundraiser for Manatee County Commission candidates

Bill Galvano
All four benefiting Republicans are favored in their respective races.

Senate President Bill Galvano will host a fundraiser for a number of prominent Republicans in his home county.

He’s raising money for the four Republicans running for Manatee County Commission in November, including incumbent Vanessa Baugh and newcomers James Satcher, George Kruse and Kevin Van Ostenbridge.

The Sept. 17 event takes place at Riviera Dunes Dockside in Palmetto. A suggested minimum contribution of $100 is listed on invites for the event.

The host committee includes a number of other regionally prominent Republicans, including lawmakers actively running themselves. Bradenton Republican Will Robinson, the incumbent in House District 71, and Sarasota Republican Tommy Gregory, the Representative in House District 73. Both serve on the host committee, as does Jim Boyd, a former lawmaker and the favorite to succeed Galvano in Senate District 21.

Developer Pat Neal, a former state Senator and prominent political donor, also serves on the committee, as does Mark Flanagan, a former Representative for the Bradenton area. RSVPs should go to Nick Grant of SimWins, at [email protected].

Baugh, the only fundraising recipient for the event already serving on the Commission, avoided any serious opposition this year. She faced no primary challenge after Ed Hunzeker shifted his ambitions toward an at-large seat, and she faces only two write-in candidates in November. That means she’s all but guaranteed another term representing District 5.

Kruse defeated Hunzeker in the Republican primary in August, and now also faces only a write-in opponent in November.

Satcher heads to the General Election fresh off defeating incumbent Commissioner Priscilla Whisenant Trace in the Republican primary. He will face Democrat Dominique Shauntel Brown in the General Election in District 1.

Ostenbridge faced no opposition for the Republican nomination in District 3. He will, however, battle Matthew Bower, a Republican running with no party affiliation in the General Election.

In the heavily Republican County, that means the four candidates benefiting from the fundraiser enjoy significant advantages in November.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


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