In North Port’s City Commission race for District 2, three women are running for a seat being vacated by one-term Commissioner Christopher Hanks, who seeks a seat on the Sarasota County Commission.
The race includes two former city commission members, Cheryl Cook and Jacqueline Moore, as well as Barbara Langdon, a relative newcomer to North Port politics.
The primary election is Aug. 18, and early voting has begun. If one of the three gets 50% plus one vote, she will win the council seat. If no one gets 50%, the top two finishers will be on to the Nov. 3 general election for a runoff.
Cook is a retired entrepreneur who sold a successful Miami business and moved to North Port in 2002. She won a seat on the City Commission in 2012, and as a commissioner, served on the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council, the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program, and the Sarasota County Tourism Development Board. She lost in a re-election bid to Hanks in 2016, coming in fourth place in the primary. She believes the city has strayed and wants to bring overspending under control, and that her experience as on the commission gives her a running start at getting things done.
Moore also has the advantage of prior experience on the City Commission. Following 33 years in corporate telecommunications with what’s now AT&T, Moore became an independent human potential consultant with her company, The Power and Light Company in 2002. She served on the City Commission and as mayor from 2014 to 2016, representing District 4, but after the city redistricted, she lost to Hanks in 2016 in a runoff. Moore says she wants to unify the community and wants to see North Port’s natural environment thrive.
Langdon, a native of Boston, is a graduate of Simmons College, Boston University and Northeastern University, and has a degree in city planning. She owns a digital marketing consulting firm, Market Momentum. She organized North Port Forward, a citizen’s organization, and served on the city’s Community Economic Development Advisory Board. She is communications chair of the North Port Republican Club and a board member of the North Port Economic Development Corp. She volunteers as a mentor with Score Manasota and Score Port Charlotte, aiding businesspeople.
We should note that as an editorial board, we interviewed District 2 Primary candidates Jackie Moore and Barbara Langdon, as well as the three candidates in the District 1 race for City Commission. Despite repeated invitations and multiple suggestions for times and dates, Cheryl Cook was not able to schedule a meeting with the editorial board, and eventually stopped responding to our messages to set up a meeting.
We applaud Cook and Moore for their service on the North Port City Commission and all they have done for the city, but Langdon has the best chance to bring a fresh approach to the city at a time when it is needed. She is well-versed in city planning, and has a strong business background and is an excellent communicator.
We recommend Barbara Langdon for North Port City Commission District 2.