Kathy Dent was first elected Supervisor of Elections in Sarasota County, Florida, on November 7, 2000. She was reelected in 2004 (unopposed), again in 2008, and to a fourth term in 2012.
Ms. Dent served as president of the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections (FSASE) from May 2007 to May 2008. She served on the Legislative Committee of the FSASE from 2001 to 2004 and co-chaired the Education and Training Committee in 2002-2004. She served as Treasurer of the FSASE Executive Committee in 2004-05 and as Secretary in 2005-06.
Ms. Dent co-chaired the Election Redesign Committee of The Election Center’s 2004 National Task Force on Election Reform and has testified before the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission on ballot design. She is a certified election administrator in the State of Florida and holds national designation as a Certified Elections/Registration Administrator (CERA) by the Election Center. She is a member of IACREOT (International Association of Clerks, Recorders, Elections Officials and Treasurers), The Election Center, and NACRC (National Association of County Recorders, Election Officials and Clerks).
A strong advocate of the special needs community, Ms. Dent has received awards from the National Association of Counties, the National Organization on Disabilities, and the Suncoast Center for Independent Living for her work on behalf of people with disabilities with respect to voting. She received the Florida Council of the Blind 2005 Legislative Award in recognition of her success in making voting accessible to people with visual handicaps.
Ms. Dent has also been extremely active in empowering and engaging students in the electoral process. She began a student poll worker program in 2002, introduced First Vote in all public high schools in the county, and created a student advisory board, which helps the supervisor’s office to implement various student voter education initiatives, including the conduct of school elections. Ms Dent also addresses middle and primary students about elections and the electoral process.
Ms. Dent is a past director of the Senior Friendship Centers, Inc., and a member of the League of Women Voters, Tiger Bay, and the Golden Gate Point Association. She has been a mentor in the Take Stock in Children program and has served on the Sarasota County Mentoring Initiative Advisory Board. She is a member of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Sarasota.
Ms. Dent has a B.S. degree in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and has done post-graduate work at the University of South Florida and Florida International University. She had extensive experience as an educator and a legal administrator, prior to becoming supervisor of elections.
She is married to attorney, John Dent. Together, they have raised five children and have eight grandchildren.