Democrat Files for Bradenton State Senate Seat



A Democrat became the first candidate to file for an open Senate seat serving all of Manatee County. Hillsborough County teacher Amanda V. Linton last week submitted her paperwork to the Division of Elections to run in District 21.

“Since 2016, my husband and I have talked several times about running for office,” she said. “Based on the issues where I want to make an impact, the state Senate is the best place to make some change.”

The educator cares, of course, about providing higher salaries to attract better teachers to Florida. She also lists environmental preservation and equality as top-tier issues.

Specifically, she wants to see more done to hold polluters accountable for nutrients feeding algal blooms. She announced her campaign as blue-bloom algae takes hold in the Manatee River.

As for current leadership, she’s frustrated lawmakers this year voted to allow school districts to expand the Guardian program and let armed teachers in the classrooms. She’s relieved that at least for now, Hillsborough and Manatee school officials have elected not to take that step.

“Arming teachers is never the answer at all to solving some of the threats we are having in our schools,” she said.

Of course, the district provides challenging territory for a Democratic candidate, let alone a first-time candidate. Book closing reports in 2018 showed almost 156,000 Republicans registered in the district, compared to almost 110,000 Democrats; there are also about 96,000 non-affiliated voters and roughly 3,000 third-party voters. In Manatee County, which makes up about 67 percent of the district, the division is especially lop-sided for the GOP.

State Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, cannot seek another term because of term limits. Many Republican contenders are waiting to see if former state Rep. Jim Boyd enters the field on the red side.

Linton said those demographics are part of why she started now. She plans to spend her summer break away from the classroom raising funds and becoming in involved with regional labor unions and Democratic leaders to boost her name ID throughout the region.

Photo courtesy Linton campaign.

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