Ray Porter, a 34-year resident of Sarasota County, has filed paperwork to run for the District 4 seat on the Sarasota County Commission.Porter, 56, defines himself as a pragmatic, rational, moderate Democrat, with a desire to bring a new perspective and background to the board.
With 20 years of professional journalism experience at the local level, reporting on all divisions of government, including Sarasota County, Porter has gained invaluable insights and knowledge. He offers the voters a newspaper reporter's intellectual tools - curiosity, high ethical standards, and a strong determination to seek and report all sides of an issue.
Through countless discussions and interviews with government policy makers and their staffs, along with interaction with active citizens who kept tabs on their representatives, Porter gained a balanced perspective that will prove crucial to the future of our county.
Devotion to his family - wife Denise and three boys, Brandon, 22, Daniel, 14, and Adam, 12 - is central to his life. His two decades of service to Sarasota Little League as a team manager, coach, and communications officer and board member for the past three years, speaks to his community service. Volunteer hours building and renovating homes with Habitat for Humanity of Sarasota also reflect Porter’s commitment to local not-for-profit organizations.
A green, sustainable vision for Sarasota’s future is more than an empty plaudit to the candidate. Porter took concrete action in the past few years, replacing gas-guzzling SUVs with a fuel efficient Prius and a fully electric Nissan Leaf, reducing his family’s carbon footprint and economizing at the same time. Acquisition of an advanced A/C/water heater energy exchange system also helped lower energy usage in his household.
“I believe in walking the walk,” said Porter. “It’s easy to say you care about the future of our planet, but I want to teach my children the importance of concrete action. You have to make your life an example to them.”
After nearly a decade as the Director of Communications for the Sarasota Association of Realtors®, Porter also understands and appreciates the vital importance of the real estate and development industry. He offers voters a strong commitment to the future success of our local economy. Porter wants to help foster and create a healthy business environment that provides high-wage jobs, safe and healthy communities, and a Sarasota we can all continue to be proud to call home.
Ray Porter has launched the web site www.rayporter2014.com which explains in greater detail his positions on the hot button issues impacting Sarasota County today. The site will be updated routinely with additional position statements and opinion pieces.
As the only Democrat in the race at the present time, Porter will seek to become involved in all future forums and debates involving the other announced candidates.