Meet the Supervisor of Elections




Elected Service:

  • Elected to Manatee County Supervisor of Elections in November 2012
  • Elected to State Senate November 2002 and subsequently re-elected in November 2004, Representing District 21, consisting of Manatee and Lee Counties and parts of Sarasota, Charlotte and DeSoto Counties.  Left the Florida Senate in November 2012 due to term limits.
  • Chaired Senate Community Affairs committee.  Served on Budget, Banking & Insurance, Criminal Justice, and Military Affairs, Space, & Domestic Security committees.
  • Florida House of Representatives, 2000-2002
  • Senate Appointments:  Florida Public Service Commission Nominating Council (Vice Chair 2011, Chair 2012).  Government Efficiency Task Force

Business Experience:

  • Associate Professor, College of Business, Iowa State University:  1976 - 1977
  • Associate Professor, College of Business, Drake University:  1977 - 1979
  • National Sales Manager for Fawn Engineering, Des Moines, IA.  Supervised 50+ distributors and 300 salespeople:  1979 - 1983
  • Founder, Aladdin Ward Electric, Bradenton, FL.  Started in 1985, and built up to a successful and profitable
    business, ultimately employing 175 people.  Sold in 1998.
  • Business Development Consultant, Bright Future Electric, Sarasota, FL:  2009 to present
  • Owner, Ellenton Ice & Sports Complex, 2005 to present.  Acquired a bankrupt ice skating facility and turned it
    around.  Today Ellenton Ice is recongnized as one of the southeastern United States' premier sports
    facilities, with more than 100 employees.
  • Owner, Linger Lodge Restaurant and full-service RV and Campground, Bradenton, FL.  2006 to present.  
    This unusual restaurant and campground on the beautiful Braden River is a favorite destination with locals and tourists alike.

Community Involvement:

  • Mote Marine Advisory Council
  • Florida Biofuels Association, Inc. Board Member
  • Member Century Commission for a Sustainable Florida
  • The Greater Sarasota Sertoma Club (past president)
  • Southeastern Guide Dogs Board Member
  • University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee Community Leadership Council
  • Gulf Coast Builders Exchange Board Member
  • Florida Public Service Commission, Nominating Council, 2004, 2005-2006
  • CHPA Board Member (Community Health Purchasing Alliance)
  • Suncoast Workforce Development Board Member
  • Electrical Council of Florida (past president)
  • American Subcontractors Association (past president)
  • Manasota Specialties Contractors (past president)


  • B.A., Drake University – 1975
  • M.B.A., Drake University – 1976


Resident of Manatee County since 1986 - Born in Brainerd, Minnesota

Married to Diane “Dee” Bennett since 1966

Served in the U.S. Navy, 1963-1967