Let the race begin

Let the race begin

Candidates confirm they’re running and finances

Mike Mongo officially announced his candidacy for the District 5 Key West City Commission seat. He said, “I take the responsibilities of public service very seriously. As a devoted advocate for all of Key West, and with the support of my wife Leonie, my friends and family, and a whole cross-section of our beloved Island community, I am stepping up to pursue the elected position of Key West City Commissioner.”

Mongo was a mayoral candidate in 2009 and is running against three-time mayoral candidate Margaret Romero. Romero is vocal at city meetings, a Key West native and was an executive consultant for IBM for 30 years. Neither Mongo or Romero has submitted a treasurer report yet.

There are three candidates seeking the Key West City Commission District 2 seat— Sam Kaufman, Morgan McPherson and Skip O’Neil. Attorney Sam Kaufman has $16,210 total money contributions to date and this is his foray into local politics. He is currently chairman of the board of directors of the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition and on the board of the Friends of Higgs Beach and moved to town in 1999.

Morgan McPherson served as Key West mayor from 2004-2009 and before he was mayor, he had an unsuccessful run for the Monroe County School Board. McPherson has $6,800 of campaign contributions. He also ran for the District 120 state House of Representatives seat in 2012 and lost in the primary to Rep. Holly Raschein (R-Key Largo). Additionally in the race for District 2 is Skip O’Neil, a retired engineer from Chicago with $2,745 in contributions.

Tony Yaniz is seeking re-election for his seat at District 4 and has not reported to the treasury to input campaign funding after announcing July 1. He is currently unopposed after former restaurant owner Fredy Varela dropped out of the race due to health issues. Varela had $10,290 in campaign contributions and reported spending $9,687. Yaniz has been on the commission since 2011. Before retiring Yaniz was director of sales and marketing for Coconut Beach Resort on Alberta Street for 23 years.

Incumbent Mona C. Clark is seeking re-election for Key West Utility Board Member Group 4 and Charles Bradford is unopposed for Key West Utility Board Member Group 5. Barry Barroso and Steven Wells Sr. are in the race for Key West Utility Board Member Group 1.

The races above will be decided on Nov. 3, 2015.

City, county, state and federal races to be decided in 2016 have some early candidates. Ed Krane is running for Mayor of Key West, unopposed at the moment, and has $250 in contributions so far.

Monroe County Director of Strategic Planning Kevin Madok is running for the Clerk of Courts position, the seat currently held by Amy Heavilin. He has reported $4,850 of monetary contributions.

Rob Stober and Sharon Hamilton are in the race for County Judge Seat 3, currently held by Judge Reagan Ptomey. Stober is an attorney in Tavernier and has $2,650 in his war chest. Hamilton has $2,440 and is the director of family court case management in Monroe County.

Ralph De Palma and incumbent Jill Cranney-Gage are in the running for Mosquito Control Board District 1. Sitting board member Stephen Smith is the only one currently running for Mosquito Control Board District 4.

State Representative Holly Raschein declared she is running for re-election but has not yet submitted paperwork to the supervisor of elections. Voting for the 2016 election is on Nov. 8, 2016.

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