PLANT CITY – Commissioner Bill Dodson kicked off his bid for a fifth term Thursday with a fundraising breakfast for about 50 supporters.
Dodson said he started forming his re-election committee a few days ago and soon had about 200 people pledged their support.
“I was very humbled by the response,” he said.
It’s not known yet if Dodson will face an opponent in April’s scheduled election. Qualifying starts noon Monday and lasts through noon Feb. 21.
Dodson won the Group 3 seat in 2002 over two opponents. He has been returned to office without opposition ever since.
Any registered voter who lives in the city can run for commission. Qualifying ends at noon Friday.
Commissioners serve three-year terms and are paid $7,668 per year. Commissioner Mike Sparkman, the other incumbent, also plans to seek re-election.
In announcing his bid for another term, Dodson touted his long experience in city government. Dodson arrived in Plant City from Durham, N.C., in 1974 and served as assistant city manager.
He left Plant City for a few years to become the assistant city manager in Temple Terrace, then city manager for Enfield, N.C.
He returned to Plant City in 1979. He was on the city planning board for about 24 years, including 22 years as chairman.
Dodson has been senior vice president of Florida Brick and Clay Co. since 1980.
His civic service includes leadership roles with the Plant City Lions Club, Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce, Plant City Family YMCA and St. Clement Catholic Church.
Dodson has been married to 1968 Florida Strawberry Festival Queen Silvia Azorin since 1976. They have two grown children, Austin and Brittney, who live and work in Philadelphia and San Francisco, respectively.