Local News

State Rep. Pigman draws Democratic opponent

SEBRING - A new candidate has filed for state representative in District 55, and he'll need to start raising funds quickly.

The current occupant of that seat, Dr. Cary Pigman, collected $16,850 in February and another $13,180 in March for $102,430 in total campaign contributions. Pigman, R-Avon Park, has spent only $27,386, according to a March 31 Florida Division of Elections report, so his war chest has a $75,000 balance.

The new candidate, Tony Jerome Munnings, a Lake Placid Democrat, filed April 7. His campaign treasurer, Tony Jerome Munnings Sr., has not filed a finance report. An attempt to call Munnings was unsuccessful on Wednesday.

Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, has topped the $300,000 mark. The latest report shows he gathered $40,340 in February and $20,450 in March for $306,412. Although he has no opponent, he has spent $156,071.

District 55 represents Highlands, Glades and Okeechobee counties. Senate District 26 represents southern Highlands County, all of Hardee, DeSoto and Glades counties, and parts of Charlotte, Hillsborough and Manatee counties.

Two county commission seats will be on the ballot this year: District 2, which represents Spring Lake, Lorida, south Sebring, eastern Lake Placid and eastern Highlands County; and District 4, western Lake Placid and western Highlands County.

Both incumbent Republicans have filed for re-election: Don Elwell of Spring Lake and Jack Richie of Lake Placid. Neither has an opponent.

Elwell hasn't filed a fundraising report; Richie has reported $1,500 in contributions and $527 in expenditures.

A county judge seat will be filled. Anthony Ritenour has filed for re-election, and has no opponent for the non-partisan race.

The most active races are two of the three non-partisan school board seats. Bill Brantley has no opponent in District 4.

In District 1, the Avon Park area, incumbent Ronnie Jackson is seeking reelection. He is opposed by Charlene Edwards and Al Joe Hinson.

In District 5, Andy Tuck left the race after being appointed to the state school board. Filing to take his place are Jill Compton, Clinton Culverhouse, William Hutchinson III, Trevor Murphy, Tres Stephenson III and Dustin Woods.

At Sun N' Lake of Sebring, incumbent Dick Miller has filed for reelection to the board of supervisors. He has no opponent.

Although it's a popularly elected seat, "Only registered voters who are landowners can vote in the SNL popular election," said district manager Michael Wright. Assuming Miller has an opponent, "A renter who lives in the district and is a registered voter can vote in the county election, but not the SNL election."

Candidates in the last two elections have not been contested, Wright said.

If more than one candidate files for each, Spring Lake Improvement District will elect one landowner and two popularly elected seats, said administrator Diane Angell.

Candidates can qualify between noon June 16 and noon June 20. Citizens should register for the Aug. 26 primary election before July 28. To vote in the Nov. 4 general election, citizens should register by Oct. 6.

Highlands County Soil and Water Management District will have two seats up for election if there is opposition, said Karen Kensinger, assistant county elections supervisor.

Both the school board and the county commissioners have talked about placing an infrastructure tax on the ballot, but neither has yet, Kensinger said.