August 23rd Ballot Recommendations

For Charlotte and Sarasota Counties


Our group is no longer functioning, so we have no mechanism for endorsements. However, we have gathered information about races on the August 23rd ballots in Charlotte and Sarasota Counties.

Attention: Although called a primary, many races on this ballot will be decided on August 23rd. These include critical school board races and races where only Republicans are running. When only Republican are running, everyone can vote on these races. It will be a final vote!   (Democrats and Independents: this is your only chance to vote on these candidates, so please do!)

Races on All Ballots

Democrats have primaries for several statewide races. We assume you have made your decisions on candidates for Governor and U.S. Senate. We'd like to share with you recommendations we've learned from knowledgeable insiders and activists.

Democratic Primaries

Governor: Charlie Crist, because he has the name recognition and funds to put up a good fight against DeSantis.

Senator: Val Demings, who is well funded and competitive.

Attorney General: Daniel Uhlfelder. Here's his website.

Commissioner of Agriculture: Ryan Morales,

Final Election (between Republicans)

State Senate District 22: Local leaders are of two minds on this race: one school of thought condemns both incumbent Joe Gruters and Republican challenger Michael Johnson as impossibly right wing. The other school of thought views Gruters as downright evil, with blood on his hands for promoting Trump pre-2016, for sending busloads of local people to Washington for January 6th, and for heading a national GOP "Election Integrity Commission" that is coordinating voter-suppression efforts in states across the country. Gruters' opponent, Michael Johnson, has merely been characterized by anonymous mailers as a "maga clown." He is running to annoy Gruters.

Sarasota County Ballots

We're listing Sarasota County races first, out of alphabetical order, because the School Board has been targeted by the disruptive, book-censuring Moms for Liberty and the Democratic candidates listed below urgently need your support. Please note that these August 23rd school board races will be final.

Final Elections

Dawnyelle Singleton in District 1 is challenging Bridget Ziegler who has been involved with the disruptive Moms for Liberty who campaigned against masking and for removing books from school libraries. Singleton's website is You can donate to her campaign there. Her Facebook page is @ElectSingleton.

Lauren Kurnov is running for Sarasota County School Board in District 4. And learn more about her campaign -- and donate to it -- here.

Nora Cietek is running for the Sarasota County School Board. She is running for the District 5 seat now held by our member Jane Goodwin, who has endorsed her. Please everyone visit her website,, where you can donate and sign up for her campaign.


Final Election (between Republicans)

Hospital Board Central District Seat 2: Thomas Dart.

Hospital Board Northern District Seat 1: Brad Baker.

Hospital Board Southern District Seat 1: Darryl Henry.

Hospital Board Southern District Seat 2: Gregory Carter. Please note that the other candidate, Joseph Chirillo, in this race, is a member of the right-wing Health Freedom Slate, who describe themselves as "devoted Christians, conservatives and patriots."

Important: Washington Post report on "Health Freedom Slate:" Conservatives skeptical of coronavirus vaccines battle to lead a hospital

Charlotte County Ballots

Final Elections (between Republicans)

Charlotte County Commission District 2: We would recommend Jaha Cummings, who is a Black Darthmouth graduate and a fifth-generation Punta Gordan, except for fear that votes for him might advantage totally unacceptable candidate David Kalin, costing the incumbent, Chris Constance. You decide.

Charlotte County Commission District 4: Stephen Deutsch was endorsed by Sun as a compromiser and experienced. But the Sun also gave high marks to Tom Sullivan, a Rutgers graduate who noted on his flyer that he was endorsed by Englewood Indivisible in 2018. (We endorsed him only in the primary.)

Final Elections

Please note that school board incumbent Cara Reynolds is running unopposed, so you won't see her on your ballot.

School Board: John LeClair, an experienced teacher and administrator in Charlotte County. Jim Barber has no background in education and has expressed concerns about books in school libraries, "critical race theory" and masks.

Airport Authority: Rob Hancik, an experienced board member who knows airports. Opponent Eric Bretan was endorsed by board member Vanessa Oliver (Michael Grant’s daughter) who pushed for privatization until it became unpopular.