By Tammy Roberts
Associate Managing Editor
BREVARD - In a race that began with seven candidates, only four have qualified to run for the District 3 seat on the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners this election season.
Incumbent Trudie J. Infantini will face Republican challengers Jason Mahaney and Helen Voltz, as well as Joe Pishgar, the only Democratic candidate in the race.
Brevard County's District 3 includes the cities of Palm Bay, Melbourne, Melbourne Beach, Malabar and Grant-Valkaria.
Basic information about the candidates is as follows:
. Age: 54
. City: unincorporated Brevard County
. Years as resident: 22
. Occupation: Brevard County Commissioner District 3; accounting instructor at Florida Tech
. Education: Bachelor's degree in business administration from Florida International University in Miami; master's degree in accounting from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton
. Organizations affiliated with: Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Space Coast Early Intervention Center in Melbourne, South Beach Soccer Club, South Beach Little League
. Marital status: married to husband, Anthony
. Number of children: four
. In 100 words, explain what makes you the best candidate for this seat: "The county still needs a capable, fiscally conservative, commissioner. Revenues dropped, and I had the financial skill-set needed to fight to reduce the 2008 $1,337 billion budget down to $932 million in 2012 (30% budget decrease in four years). As your commissioner, due to my 29 years of accounting (and auditing inquisitiveness), I have researched, then asked, the tough questions, while fighting for the taxpayers. The most important issue in this race is selecting the most qualified candidate to be a steward of the residents' tax dollars. I have been and will continue to be your watchdog."
Jason B. Mahaney
. Age: 40
. City: Grant-Valkaria
. Years as resident: 30 years in Brevard
. Occupation: Plans examiner for the city of Palm Bay; vice mayor for the town of Grant-Valkaria
. Education: Emergency Medical Technician certification from Brevard Community College Palm Bay Campus; paramedic certification from Space Coast Health Institute in Melbourne; certifications through the Electrical, Mechanical and Plumbing foundations of the Building Officials Association of Florida in Ocala; Advanced Institute for Elected Municipal Officials at the John Scott Dailey Florida Institute of Government in Orlando
. Organizations affiliated with: United Way of Brevard; Project Response, Grant Seafood Festival; Grant BBQ Fest (Toys for Kids); Palm Bay East Little League Baseball coach; Palm Bay Fast Pitch Little League Softball coach; Palm Bay Police Athletic League Fishing Program guide
. Marital status: married to wife, Regina
. Number of children: three
. In 100 words, explain what makes you the best candidate for this seat: "I moved to Brevard County in 1982, and my wife, Regina, and I are raising our family in South Brevard. I am an active part of our community with volunteering for the United Way of Brevard, Project Response, Grant Seafood Festival and several other organizations. I am the vice mayor of Grant-Valkaria and have fought to keep the town debt-free and at one of the lowest tax rates in Brevard. I am a certified building inspector and plans examiner for the city of Palm Bay. I put the residents first. I am the right choice for County Commission! Visit www.votemahaney.com."
. Age: 31
. City: West Melbourne
. Years as resident: 31
. Occupation: Director of community relations for Bestofmedia Group
. Education: Attended Brevard Community College's Cocoa Campus
. Organizations affiliated with: Take Back the Night; Keep Brevard Beautiful
. In 100 words, explain what makes you the best candidate for this seat: "County Commissioner isn't a role I'm running for because it benefits me personally. I want to be your next County Commissioner because I believe we can realize the dream of becoming the technology capital of Florida and the Southeast by investing in our future and reaching out to high-tech businesses. I'll fight to make Brevard attractive to businesses and residents alike by ensuring that we responsibly fund essential county services while holding the line on lower taxes."
. Age: 64
. City: West Melbourne
. Years as resident: 34
. Occupation: Retired as a registered nurse at Circles of Care in Melbourne; served as a Brevard County District 5 County Commissioner from 1996-2000 and a District 3 Commissioner from 2004-08
. Education: Associate's degree in business administration from Brevard Community College's Palm Bay Campus; Associate's degree in Science from Brevard Community College's Cocoa Campus; Bachelor's degree in professional administration from Barry University on Merritt Island and a master's degree in business administration from Webster University on Merritt Island
. Organizations affiliated with: volunteer teacher with Junior Achievement in Brevard; member of the Palm Bay Sertoma Club; South Brevard Crime Task Force; Cystic Fibrosis; March of Dimes; West Melbourne Business Association; Republican Women's Network of South Brevard
. Marital status: married to husband, Norman
. Number of children: three
. In 100 words, explain what makes you the best candidate for this seat: "With unemployment near 10 percent, I want to work to bring jobs to Brevard, lower taxes, reduce regulations and ensure your property rights are not violated, while running government more efficiently."
For more information about the upcoming Brevard County elections, visit www.votebrevard.com.