Barbara Ford-Coates to qualify to run for 11th term as Sarasota Tax Collector

She has long been the lone Democrat holding Sarasota County office.

Sarasota County Tax Collector Barbar Ford-Coates says she’s ready to seek another term.

The only Democrat holding county office in Sarasota, she will file qualifying paperwork June 12 at 10 a.m. to seek an 11th term.

“My staff and I pride ourselves on providing exceptional customer service at the lowest cost in Florida,” Ford-Coates said.

“When voters cast their ballot this November, I hope they will want to keep the same quality of service and efficiency they have experienced when visiting one of my four offices.”

Ford-Coates won re-election unopposed in 2020. But that’s unlikely this year. Sarasota County Commissioner Mike Moran, who cannot seek another term in his current office because of term limits, has filed to challenge the long-term incumbent. He has reported nearly $102,000 in fundraising to Ford-Coates’ just-under $51,000.

But Moran may face a Primary of his own, as Republican Charles Bear has also filed and has raised more than $16,000.

The last time Ford-Coates faced a political opponent was in 2016, when she defeated Republican challenger Jim Bender with more than 61% of the vote.

Her presence as a constitutional officer has defied broader electoral trends in the county. She has held office since 1984, and the already-Republican county has shifted significantly more red since then.

As of May, the county was home to nearly 152,000 registered Republicans and just over 86,000 Democrats, according to the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections. The same registration report showed more than 77,000 voters unaffiliated with any political party and fewer than 9,000 registered with various minor parties.

But Ford-Coates focused on regional representation as she declared her intent to seek another term.

“It’s important to remember that all of Sarasota County deserves representation, not just north county,” she said. “That’s why I always file my qualifying papers in Venice.”

She will submit her qualifying paperwork at the Supervisor of Elections Office in the South County Anderson Administration Building.

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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