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Chapman to Face Atwell, Dorfman In City Commission Runoff

Susan Chapman led all City Commission candidates with 2,705 votes.

Incumbent Commissioner Suzanne Atwell have one more election to go if she wants to defend her seat on the City Commission. 

No candidate received the majority of the vote, meaning the top three candidates are headed for a run-off election on Tuesday, May 14.

With all 18 precincts reporting, the candidates in the run-off are: 

  • Susan Chapman — 2,705 votes (24.53 percent)
  • Suzanne Atwell — 2,606 votes (23.63 percent)
  • Richard Dorfman—2,311 votes (20.96 percent)

Atwell said she felt "very, very good" about tonight's election results.

"I think I'm in a unique position to be a centrist in this election," Atwell said.

Now, she has to turn her efforts to May if she wants to be back on the commission, and believes that governing while campaigning will give her an advantage.

"I'm going to sit down with team and be very strategic. We're going to be knocking on doors, will be chasing absentee ballots and make sure that people know that there is another eleciton May 14," she said."Historically there's low voter turrnout in runoffs, and this is indeed a very important election." 

Chapman and Dorfman are also looking ahead, they told the Herald-Tribune:

"She said more candidate forums and door-knocking are ahead, as well as more political attacks from Dorfman supporters.

“I am not looking forward to the negativity that was exhibited in the past,” Chapman said.

...

“It's a mindblower,” Dorfman said of his chance to move forward in this race. “I've been here four years and am running against the mayor and running against someone who's been in the city for 30-some years.”

The campaign for the other three candidates ended tonight. 

The rest of the results are:

  • Linda Holland —1,528 votes (13.88 percent)
  • Kelvin Lumpkin — 1,431 votes (13.06 percent)
  • Pete Theisen— 432 votes (3.94 percent) 

The election has a 17.32 percent voter turnout, according to the Supervisor of Elections, with 6,144 ballots cast out of 35,480 registered city voters.

The top two candidates in the May runoff will then serve one four-year term on the City Commission starting May 17.

This story has been updated.

Michael Raffoni March 13, 2013 at 09:37 PM
Final word: "Hawkeye" (by the way... our names are clearly out there... what's yours?)... "Independant / GOP / Democrat" what difference does this make in your argument at all? Sounds like you have an axe to grind that has nothing to do with this issue. Whether I agree with you or not regarding the entire runoff process now in-place is irrelevant. I believe it has been in place long before this election and was not created for this 2013 election. You want to change it, I might even support you, but you have to go through the channels and not just complain about it. You can't expect anyone to change the rules mid-stream of an election process.
Hawkeye March 13, 2013 at 09:50 PM
Michael.. bottom line.. Susan Chapman received more votes than Mayor Atwell.. and only making a point that the entire runoff process is a severe misuse of taxpayer dollars. I also do not agree with not having an open primary.. but that's neither here, nor there. I'm just curious as how much the residents at Cewntral Park Condominuims will be willing to open their wallets and purses to endorse Mayor Atwell. By the way Michael, I'm also for imposing a cap on campaign contributions. How about that?!
Hawkeye March 13, 2013 at 09:51 PM
Personally Michael, I do not believe a campaign should be decided on whoever contributes the most to a campaign.. know what I mean?
Bruce Snider March 14, 2013 at 03:49 PM
Im only a temporary resident down here but try to follow the politics just incase I decide to make it a full time situation or not. Dorfman sadly made his bed on this one. A friend of mine went to his running party and she was one of the ten people there. That should have been a call to action that something wasnt going right. Then in turn he aligned with the hub which did a great number with the Google campaign but hasn't done anything else since. You cant expect to win by going after the younger votes without bringing some kind of rockstar to the table, but he got lazy. Marketing is everything but when its all said and done you can expect this to be another sad defeat.
Hawkeye March 14, 2013 at 04:01 PM
Bruce.. I could not agree with you more.. when you run for 'any' office.. it's the same as if you actually 'held' that position.. meaning, it's a 100%, 24/7 commitment. You never, ever stop.. just like the Commissioners hours.. you are a Commissioner 100% - 24/7 of the time and you'd better be prepared to put in some long hours. I agree, you just cannot do well with one item, run for office and expect to sit back and let it happen.. because it's not going to. This is why Susan Chapman will win the Run Off. She will give 100% for the betterment of this city and not just the 'special interest' groups.. aka; Suzanne Atwell. Welcome Bruce and hope Sarasota works for you. It truly is a great town.. just needs an awakening and like one of the greatest - young, aspiring writers once wrote; "a little local color".. All the best to you.
Bruce Snider March 14, 2013 at 04:24 PM
It is pretty clear one would think though.. Clearly you would expect Atwell should get the boot after all the blunders the city has had printed in the news with money lost, spent poorly, and just plain wasted. For a city that has a serious investment in tourism they have not embraced that STILL! You would expect Dorfman to make a play and get hungry but his campaign just feels lackadaisical. You have to respect Chapman and it is sad that one can win a majority of the votes and be told that you have to re-run again with two others that dont have as many votes. Welcome to "Sarasota politics".
Hawkeye March 14, 2013 at 04:33 PM
Bruce; I read your reply to Michael and again, I could not agree more. Take for instance Atwell's role as Mayor. Just yesterday a tourist who chose to spend their hard-earned vacation dollar in this wonderful city, only to be thanked by returning to the parking garage on Palm Avenue, by receiving a nice big traffic ticket. Why; for 'backing' into an almost vacant parking garage. They claim it's a dangerous situation to 'back' into a parking space..in an almost empty garage.. They will never be back and would you? As Mayor, Suzanne Atwell could give the Police Chief some leniency towards tourists who, if they did not arrive each year, the services provided by their tax dollar would not exist...neither would the Police Department.
Hawkeye March 15, 2013 at 06:37 PM
Again Bruce....welcome to city politcs..where if.they do not like the candidate who received the.most votes...they.simply hold a meeting...vote to hold a.Runoff...no matter.what the cost and hope for the best...this.is.what happens.when you.have a Replublican run town...spend.spend.spend...as.long.at it's to serve their.special interest groups...then again Bruce...we don't even have an.Open Primary..an example...the supervisor of.election race...both candidates were republican...so..if you.are a registered democrat or independant...you.are.refused.to be allowed to vote...nice huh? But...again..this.is.Florida...which is.the only state in the country.that.just.can't get it.right.
RB March 17, 2013 at 01:31 PM
It is a hidden test for astigmatism -- see an ophthalmologist -- and don't vote until it is corrected.
RB March 17, 2013 at 01:53 PM
You have to get all the members of your family to vote then. Some don't, you know. Records show that your husband failed to vote in an election about one of his favorite rants -- electing a mayor. Vote raising begins at home. Your mission ought to be to find out why more people voted for Chapman than either of your choices (one even being an incumbent) and that partying is not the nature of government. Pushing two hack candidates primed to make a fifth attempt to get an elected mayor so we can have as much corruption as possible with Joe Barbetta and Bob Waechter running "the show" is not my idea of sensible voting. I don't know what the hubbettes are smoking at their parties, but all the signs point to the impression that along with voicing their confused and inarticulate babble, they are not paying attention to the issues that ARE of concern to the city voters. I'll take Chapman as the best of the field and Atwell as the better of two evils.
Hawkeye March 17, 2013 at 02:04 PM
Michael, now what fun would it be to post who I am? Don't you like a little imagination in your life. But Michael, unlike you, who only reside in the winter months before heading back to PA, I reside in Sarasota 'full time' I support the beautiful city of Sarasota; 'full time'.. Michael, I know and see what's going on in my ';backyard' 24/7 - 12 mos a year.. unlike you who is only here a couple months in the winter.. Susan Chapman is by far more fit to qualify as city commissioner than Atwell and by the result of the votes, the records prove that.
Bruce Snider March 17, 2013 at 02:06 PM
Its funny that nobody knows what the hub does besides shady moves. I was interested many years back when they were trying to make big moves, but sady making moves and following through till something is a success isn't the same thing.I had to block all their pages because I got tired of seeing them doing anything that goes viral and makes it onto GMA hoping someone notices them. I dont go home for another month and plan on mentioning Atwells name to everyone in my building I pass by.
RB March 17, 2013 at 02:19 PM
Because there are two seats being filled, Hawkeye. it will be a curious fight between Atwell and Dorfman to see who gets the second seat. This might ruin their cozy friendship! Being 100 votes ahead of the second place runner-up and 400 votes ahead of the third place runner-up (even though spending a small fortune of outsider money to try to win) indicates a comfortable margin for first place for Chapman again -- when 12 votes can be the determining factor in our town. She deserves it. The second seat must be filled. The city needs to be saved from the likes of Dorfman and the takeover gang funding his campaign, however, so I will hold my nose and vote for Atwell for the second seat.
RB March 17, 2013 at 02:24 PM
Then please make sure you vote in the runoff to prevent that!
Hawkeye March 17, 2013 at 02:28 PM
I'll take Dorman and the money he's raising to contribute to his campaign, before Atwells and the money from the Central Park Condo owners any day of the week. I'll bet the money raised by the Dorfman group was 'earned' and earned by sweat and hard work.. And that's the kind of leadership and working morals I'd want for 'my' city..
RB March 17, 2013 at 02:41 PM
Hang on, the Dorfman (and Waechter) gang is about to launch an even nastier campaign than in the primary. Desperate people do desperate things... expect them to outdo themselves. Bet this becomes the nastiest assault on a candidate since the 1910s days of Higel -- hope the outcome is a little less extreme.
RB March 17, 2013 at 02:55 PM
It is difficult to choose between them for the second seat, but the massive amount of money Dorman has raised is no sign of leadership (he has not even bothered to learn about the city and all that sweating is not from heavy lifting, he is desparate) -- that money is from the Waechter crowd and they want to control the entire town, not just park benches. Chapman is the best choice for the city and Atwell is a safer choice for the second seat.
Hawkeye March 17, 2013 at 03:10 PM
RB, I'd support any city candidate, who will remove the antiquated city noise ordinance.. and not cave in to the rhetoric whine from the central park condo owners: "i pay more taxes and contribute more campaign money to keep you in office, you had better quiet Twinkle down and keep the benches out of 5 - Points.. or else" Sorry RB, but the condo dwellers whose developers built these massive high-rises around the music revenuses.. then they whine about Twinkle playing outside at 10:00.. what a joke. Then the condo owners association memebers are telling the commissioners; "well, were willing to compromise".. WTF?! Who are they to even say that?! It's not 'their' town..it's OUR town.. not just the condo owners who wave their money around..
Michael Raffoni March 17, 2013 at 03:50 PM
Hawkeye... you seem to be a very confused person. There could not be two more different candidates than Mr. Dorfman and Ms. Chapman, yet you seem -- at different time in this comment thread -- to both support and condemn both. Not to mention complaining about pretty much everything. Oh... and how much respect can you expect to get when you hide behind acronyms ("Hawkeye"... "RB"). I thought to post on this site you had to provide your real names and thereby avoid "internet" nameless/faceless brovado comments? Post your names folks, otherwise you should be ignored.
Hawkeye March 17, 2013 at 04:20 PM
Michael, your post has so many inconsistincies I cannot count them all. (1) I am for Chapman & Dorfman. (2) 99% of the names people use when they provide posts on this site, are aliases. Michael, the names do not exist, but the people do who make them. (3) Michael, I 'both' reside and 'work' downtown. Therefor, I see, feel and hear what goes on in 'my' city year round. Unlike you Michael, who not only does not even reside in the city, you reside in the county two months of the year. Michael, matter of fact, you reside so far outside of the 'city' limits, it's no wonder your posts have more holes than the city noise ordinance. Michael, how can you continue to make posts about a city you do not even live in?! Michael, your posts are the same as me trying to sell an automobile I've never driven. Michael, not only are your posts irrevelant, you are not even 'qualified' at making them. While you reside in the 'county' two months out of the year, I'll just ignore your future posts. Crestwood Villas.. in the County.. really Michael?! You just made a fool out of yourself. By Michael.. your posts do not warrant nor do they deserve an inteilectual response.
Hawkeye March 17, 2013 at 04:28 PM
Michael, your post has so many inconsistincies I cannot count them all. (1) I am for Chapman & Dorfman. (2) 99% of the names people use when they provide posts on this site, are aliases. Michael, the names do not exist, but the people do who make them. (3) Michael, I 'both' reside and 'work' downtown. Therefor, I see, feel and hear what goes on in 'my' city year round. Unlike you Michael, who not only does not even reside in the city, you reside in the county two months of the year. Michael, matter of fact, you reside so far outside of the 'city' limits, it's no wonder your posts have more holes than the city noise ordinance. Michael, how can you continue to make posts about a city you do not even live in?! Michael, your posts are the same as me trying to sell an automobile I've never driven. Michael, not only are your posts irrevelant, you are not even 'qualified' at making them. While you reside in the 'county' two months out of the year, I'll just ignore your future posts. Crestwood Villas.. in the County.. really Michael?! You just made a fool out of yourself. By Michael.. your posts do not warrant nor do they deserve an inteilectual response.
Michael Raffoni March 17, 2013 at 05:19 PM
Touch a nerve, did I Mr. Alda? Totally inappropriate for you to get personal and provide my personal info, as incorrect as it is. But I suppose if you can't win the intellectual arguement, you might as well get personal. And why is it, again, that you are afraid of stating you real name?
Hawkeye March 17, 2013 at 05:35 PM
Michael.. let it go.. you're truly embarassing yourself now.. Michael, you reside in the county two mos a year and your posts about 'City' Government would be the same as myself making posts about Fairbanks Alaska.. ok.. You do not pay City taxes, you probably haven't set foot in the city.. so why not just quit.. you don't I'll so intelectually embarras you to the point you'll need to come up with a different name.. ok.. take care, relax and enjoy the day.. I know I am.. headin out.. laters..
RB March 17, 2013 at 09:20 PM
About public spaces (government held property), in the right of way, outside, amplified noise (music) and a 10 pm limit - citizens have a right to a say about the use of public property. No one is trying "to shut down music in the city at 10" - it needs to go indoors where it can be appreciated by the patrons of any venue that qualifies to present it. A compromise was reached to encourage music with dining on the sidewalks. Neither used to be allowed on the sidewalks. Most people want to be able to talk at dinner and un-amplified or background music is an attractive accompaniment. That compromise has made downtown lively and most appreciate it. I doubt that a lucrative boozy Ybor City on Main will fly. It certainly wouldn't help other businesses flourish, they would relocate. Holding a party or event with outdoor amplified music is facilitated and regulated by permit. There is a permitting process that must be followed in order to make sure that the venue is appropriate and that a majority of the neighbors (including businesses) agree to it. That ensures that they can expect what their zoning districts allow. Changing the rules after allowing the residential areas to develop will be subject to legal redress. LOTS of tax dollars come from those addresses. Those wanting a soundproof facility with decibels high enough to hurt hearing and base that can damage their hearts should be allowed to make such choices for themselves, without forcing it on those who object.
Hawkeye March 17, 2013 at 09:33 PM
RB, they were trying to shut down Twinkle for god's sake! Twinkle RB, not Lee Wayne, eminem.. 50 cent.. Twinkle.. much in the same way the Venice city commissioners voted off the only ice-cream truck on City island because of a few angry, socially repressed seniors didn't like the sound of an ice-cream truck's 'jingle'.. remember the ice-cream truck when you were younger RB, when you heard if a block away.. the anticipation of gathering up a couple dimes and getting an ice cream RB, on a hot summer day.. RB, they forced him off the island because of some angry seniors RB! Much in the same way, the money waving seniors in the high rises are trying to shut down outsoor music.. This is Florida RD, people move here to be outside.. to listen to 'outside' music.. people want to sit inside, let them move to New York, Chicago.. but this is 'OUR' town RB, and not just the rich seniors who waved their money and got the benches removed from 5-Points!
RB March 17, 2013 at 09:45 PM
Comments on Patch are published using their rules (not yours). Obviously, you do not understand their rules. I realize that it is the first tool reached for by hubettes, but don't bully others who are following the rules here, otherwise we can flag your comment as inappropriate (and get it taken down). You need to come to terms with the fact that you can not order others about. Good manners result in a civil society. Also, you need to look up "acronym". I'd tell you what it means, but an old adage goes, "it is better to teach someone who is hungry how to fish than to give one... "
RB March 17, 2013 at 10:00 PM
By the way -- I like Twinkle -- and have eaten there -- but I sure wouldn't want to try to go to sleep in a condo nearby while she is performing at that public park area. As a matter of fact I found that the volume was too high to allow any conversation at our table without shouting over it... okay for a concert or dance hall, but not my idea of a good dinner out with friends. There are ways to amplify sound so that it can be heard over a large area without having to be so loud -- many places are using it now instead of just cranking up the dials. Other options are out there that could be used to keep all happy, let's explore them.
RB March 17, 2013 at 10:40 PM
Also Chapman is the only candidate who doesn't jump to one of the opposing sides in the noise issue. At a forum I heard her discuss the very thing I mentioned about the new technology and a need to study ways to accommodate the goals of each side as much as possible.
Hawkeye March 18, 2013 at 01:16 AM
RB, the music venues were there 'before' the high-rises were built. It was up to the responsibility of the seller to pre-warn the tenants there is live - outdoor music close by. So now, they built these high-rises and they flaunt their money to the commissioners and 'warn them that they will not be endorsed unless you shut the music down" ? And they are willing to compromise?! Give me a freaking break.. what's next RB, O'Learlys.. now they've been playing live music for years.. so when the new high-rises are built where the Sports Page now stands, and the music is coming from O'leary's.. are you saying the new condo owners have a voice?! Give me a break! The hell with their money.. they can stick it..
RB March 18, 2013 at 02:21 AM
It will be interesting to see what way that goes. With all of the current problems in the city, I don't see a future study of noise as a big issue for this election. If voters use their fantasies of what they think will be said about a possible proposed change to an ordinance on noise being allowed on public sidewalk dining locations as a deciding factor in their votes, they have no perspective on serious issues. My point is that Dorfman rants about this and it is about as deep as he gets on city issues... I could not vote for someone that raises a red herring as a war flag -- when he has no grasp on the really important issues. It is typical political pandering to a few of his promoters and a smoke screen for the real voters. He hasn't even taken the time to learn about the topics being covered in forums. Lets's discuss some of those things.

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