RACE: St. Lucie County Commission District 2
TERM: 4 years
- Anthony Bonna, R-Port St. Lucie (incumbent)
- Sean Mitchell, D-Port St. Lucie
KEY ISSUES: Jobs, protecting waterways, school security, campaign finances
RECOMMENDATION: Anthony Bonna
On paper, the differences between the two candidates for the St. Lucie County Commission District 2 seat should be stark.
Anthony Bonna, a longtime Republican Party booster behind the scenes, is a proponent of no new taxes and less government. Democrat Sean Mitchell, a veteran ironworkers union representative and business manager, should in theory be the polar opposite of his opponent.
In fact, Bonna and Mitchell agree on more issues than they disagree upon..
During an interview with the Treasure Coast Newspapers Editorial Board, both shared similar top priorities for the commission seat. These include creating more high-paying jobs, protecting our waterways and maintaining or increasing public safety, especially in schools.
Bonna and Mitchell said they see many issues through the lens of job creation. Bringing high-skill, high-paying jobs to the county will aid in reducing crime, build stronger community ties and enhance living standards, they argued.
Bonna was appointed to the District 4 seat in April by Gov. Rick Scott to finish out the term of Tod Mowery, who resigned in January. Bonna subsequently prevailed in a Republican primary field of four candidates.
Mitchell was the sole Democratic candidate for the District 2 seat.
Bonna has had little time to make his mark on the board, yet he should be commended for his policy of maintaining high accessibility to constituents. He lists his cellphone number in all written communications.
Bonna brought up one disquieting point about his opponent’s campaign contributions. He pointed out that a majority come from out-of-county sources, including union chapters and organized labor sources. In contrast, Bonna said most of his support comes from the Treasure Coast.
Mitchell does have deep roots in the county, having raised a family of six here. However, we share Bonna’s concerns about Mitchell’s campaign finances for a county seat.
Bonna’s performance on the County Commission indicates a personal commitment to a community that supported him in his youth, with mentoring through his church and Big Brothers Big Sisters, among others.
While it was hard to differentiate the respective positions of these candidates from each other on many important issues, we were not persuaded Mitchell offered a compelling case to oust the incumbent.
TCPalm’s candidate recommendations are decided collectively by its Editorial Board. Recommendations are based on nonpartisan criteria that prioritize the best candidates for our local community.