Former state Sen. Mike Bennett has the attention of Tallahassee and Sarasota GOP leaders as a possible replacement for Venice Republican state Sen. Nancy Detert‘s seat if she decides to run for the Sarasota County Commission.
“I have not ruled it out,” Bennett tells Jeremy Wallace of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Senate District 28 covers Sarasota and part of Charlotte counties.
From 2002 to 2012, the Bradenton Republican represented Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte counties in the state Senate.
Detert confirmed she is considering a 2016 run for an open seat on the County Commission.
After her statement, a handful of potential candidates mentioned interest in her Senate seat: state Reps. Ray Pilon and Greg Steube and former state Rep. Doug Holder of Osprey.
Sarasota County Commissioner Nora Patterson and Lakewood Ranch developer Pat Neal also said they are interested in Detert’s seat, Wallace writes.
Speaking from Tallahassee, Bennett expressed he was “surprised” by the number of people coming out in support of another Senate run. Although he was term-limited in 2012 and has since served as Manatee County elections supervisor, Bennett is eligible to run, as he has been out of office for two years. In addition, he would be running in another district this time.
If Bennett runs for the Senate, Wallace notes, it would mean he could not run for re-election as election supervisor in 2016.