Coldiron confirms County Commission run

Ten months ahead of Election Day, Marathon Mayor Michelle Coldiron has announced her candidacy for the Monroe County Commission District 2 seat.

Commissioner George Neugent’s term is up in November and it will be his last of five four-year terms representing District 2, which spans about 40 miles from Boca Chica Key in the Lower Keys north into a portion of Marathon.

Coldiron (2)

Although there was talk in July 2017 of Coldiron, 56, running for Neugent’s seat in the Nov. 6 general election, the City Councilwoman officially announced her candidacy Monday. She has been mayor of Marathon since November.

“I have the time, the energy, fortitude and aptitude to continue making Monroe County an excellent place to live,” she told the Keynoter, adding she’d like to work on finding solutions for workforce housing if elected.

She wants to hear ideas from the county’s Affordable Housing Advisory Committee and work to move housing projects forward.

“I understand the importance and challenges of balancing the needs of residents with tourism, finding solutions to workforce housing, being fiscally responsible and being a fierce protector of our residents and our environment and our fragile ecosystem,” she said.

Coldiron, who has lived in Marathon 18 years, was elected to Marathon City Council for a three-year term in November 2015. She is married, has one daughter and owns Global Health Connections Inc.

She is an appointed member of the District Advisory Committee for the county Tourism Development Council. She also serves on the Area Health Education Center board and was employed by the state as a child advocate coordinator for the Guardian ad Litem Program, for which she still volunteers.

Seeing as how District 2 covers only the bayside portion of Marathon up to 63rd Street, Coldiron had to move from her oceanside home on Knights Key and into District 2 to qualify for the seat. She bought a bayside home in August “on the right side of the street,” she said.

There has been talk of Neugent running for Coldiron’s City Council seat.

“I’ve been asked to by some people, so as far as thinking about it, I’d have to say yes I have been,” he said. “As far as having anywhere near made up my mind, I have not. It’s very early and God knows my plate is full with trying to finish out what will be my 20th year in office and I don’t plan on being distracted at this point in time by running for another office.”

The only way he’d consider running for another County Commission term is Coldiron didn’t run, he said.

“I think she brings a lot to the table. I think she’s prepared herself to step into the position better than anyone I’ve seen put the name in the hat over the last 20 years,” he said.

Neugent lives in the Crane Point subdivision of Marathon.

Other candidates running for the District 2 seat include John Baker of Ramrod Key, and Charles Weitzel of Key West.

Katie Atkins: 305-440-3219