Clermont, Arroyo Look to General Election Matchup

Todays News

BY JACOB OGLES SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING THURSDAY AUG 20, 2020

The contest for Sarasota City Commission in District 3 has winnowed to two candidates, Dan Clermont and Erik Arroyo. That’s after Rob Grant was eliminated in a primary on Tuesday night.

Clermont came out as the top vote getter in the primary with 1,378 votes. He attributes that to bringing a positive message to voters during an otherwise negative campaign season. “Instead of talking about what we shouldn’t do or what we couldn’t do, I started to say let’s try this,” he said. For example, he spoke to some neighbors about what happens with the Midtown Plaza that a grocery store vacated, and he said he wants to work on the Commission to lure a Fresh Market to that space.

“I think it’s true of a lot of cities, but it always seems to be about putting out fires,” he said. He’d rather City Hall be more proactive. Instead of speaking to arts organizations only when they are in crisis or need, there needs to be a constant conversation about how to cultivate culture. “We wait until they are in trouble or in need of improvement or enlarging of space,” he said. “Then we say come with a proposal and let us know what the neighbors thing, then we’ll get in a fight about it in the Commission Chambers.”

Arroyo secured the second spot in the general election with 1,007 votes, edging out Grant with 923. He’s hoping to build some bridges with Grant voters as he looks to November. As someone who lived in District 3 since he was a teenager, he feels his message can win out in the working class neighborhood. “I have a couple of things I need to do for the general but I like my odds,” he said. A long-time political consultant in the area, he’s already started looking carefully at where he can grow his support and close the 371-vote difference with Clermont.

 “I’m a minority who made it in Sarasota and in America,” he said, “and I have been here. I came in the middle of high school.” That and knocking on doors relentlessly leading into the election tells him the different needs and desires of voters abutting the Bobby Jones Golf Course and who reside in Arlington Park. The challenges in ensuring workforce housing can be found in the city feels literally close to home. But he knows he’s going toward November as the underdog. He’s fine with that, and likes to quote MC Hammer, “Either you work hard or you might as well quit,” and he’s not quitting.

The winner of the seat for the first time in decades will be decided at the general election, on Nov. 3 concurrent with the Presidential election this cycle.

« View The Thursday Aug 20, 2020 SRQ Daily Edition
« Back To SRQ Daily Archive

Read More

Buchanan, Good War Over Coronavirus At Debate

Buchanan, Good War Over Coronavirus At Debate

Jacob Ogles | Oct 26, 2020

Robinson, Mele Make Case on Pandemic, Environment

Robinson, Mele Make Case on Pandemic, Environment

Jacob Ogles | Oct 19, 2020

Miner, Foreman View School District Record Differently

Miner, Foreman View School District Record Differently

Jacob Ogles | Oct 15, 2020

Fairey, Gregory reach out to voters in District 73

Fairey, Gregory reach out to voters in District 73

Jacob Ogles | Oct 8, 2020