SARASOTA — On November 7th, Venice voters went to the polls to take a stand against developer control. Ron Smith and Joan Farrell were elected to the Venice City Council on platforms in support of neighborhoods and the overwhelming voice of the citizens.
By the time polls closed at 7 PM, it was clear that both candidates were well on their way to overtake Republican and developer-backed candidates, including incumbent Mitzie Fiedler. Daniel Kuether, Chair of the Sarasota County Democratic Party, stated, "It's clear that the citizens of Venice are sick and tired of developers like Pat Neal buying these elections with an inordinate amount of money so that he can easily push his proposals through the council later in the year."
Fiedler, an incumbent since 2017, was unseated with unofficial results showing Joan Farrell had 52.3% of votes to Fiedler's 47.7%. Smith also saw success as he secured 61.8% of votes to Feller's 38.2%. "This was a significant victory for these candidates in Venice, where Republican voter registrations outnumber Democrats nearly 2:1," Kuether pointed out. "It just goes to show that good policies and candidates on the side of the people can win any day of the week."
A clean campaign pledge was a substantial news story in the election. The Republican Party of Sarasota County supported negative ads that inaccurately attacked Smith and Farrell. In contrast, Smith and Farrell refused to participate in the mud-slinging.
Kuether added, "I've said before that we have to meet voters on the issues, and because of the voter deficits we face, it can often be difficult to demonstrate that in Sarasota County. As we saw around the nation last night, voters care about what politicians are doing, and yesterday was about Americans standing up for their beliefs and the politicians that support those."
View the unofficial election results here: https://enr.electionsfl.org/SAR/3454/Summary/