Local lawyer and certified public accountant Gary Fileman announced Thursday he is running for a seat on the Charlotte County Commission.
Fileman, 56, of Wabash Terrace, will run against incumbent Joe Tiseo, in District 5. Both are Republican. Tiseo announced in December on Facebook that he would seek his second four-year term.
The election is Nov. 3, and the primary election is Aug. 18.
Fileman has lived in Charlotte County since 1980 when he was in high school. His parents came down in the late 1970s to run their company, Flagship Marine Engine, which Fileman still helps to operate.
He also shares Fileman Law Firm in Punta Gorda with his wife, Ariana Fileman. They have two daughters who are in college now.
He has wanted to serve on the county board for awhile, Fileman said, but his 13-year service as a magistrate for 20th Judicial Circuit precluded that. His volunteer work there was to preside over cases of involuntary commitment requests.
Fileman described himself to the Sun as economically conservative. As commissioner, he said, he would strive to keep taxes low for residents.
“Like it or not, Charlotte County is growing. Thousands of people are retiring or moving their families to our slice of paradise because we enjoy low taxes, and low crime, and a high quality of life,” Fileman said in a written statement. “Without strong leadership on the Board of County Commissioners, these qualities will continue to erode and our quality of life erased.”
He has no specific complaint about Tiseo’s four years on the board.
“I don’t want to be negative,” Fileman said. Of why he decided to run, he said, “It was more internal. It was something I wanted to do.”
He believes he has skills that would benefit the community. In particular, he said, he believes the public would benefit from more explanation about government.
“Sometimes, people would like to know the reason behind some of (government) actions.”
On fiscal stewardship, he said in his statement, “I will bring the strong conservative leadership our community desperately needs. I will evaluate county expenditures and end wasteful government spending to ensure our tax dollars are working for us. I will make sure we start making the necessary investments in our aging infrastructure, lowering the tax burden on residents and businesses, planning for the smart, sustainable growth of Charlotte County and protecting our Harbor, beaches and waterways to preserve our quality of life.”