Michael Bennett - Bright Future Electric
Mr. Bennett took office as Manatee County Supervisor of Elections on January 8, 2013. Prior to that, he served in the Florida Senate from November 2002 until November 2012, Representing District 21, consisting of Manatee and Lee Counties and parts of Sarasota, Charlotte and DeSoto Counties. Mr. Bennett served in the Florida House of Representatives from 2000 to 2002. He was involved in chairing and the directing Senate committees responsible for building codes, land regulation and other rules and regulations affecting the construction and development industries. Mr. Bennett was a legislator known to be a champion of business, a community leader, and someone who gets things done. He remains committed to those principles.
Born in Brainerd, Minnesota, Mr. Bennett moved to Bradenton with his family at 10 years old and is a proud graduate of Sarasota High School. Following high school, he joined the Navy and served 4 tours in Vietnam. After graduating with a BA and MBA from Drake University (Des Moines, Iowa), Mr. Bennett worked as an Associate Professor in the College of Business at Iowa State University, and subsequently at Drake University. From there he embarked on a business career ultimately founding Aladdin Ward Electric in Bradenton in 1985, and growing it into a thriving enterprise employing 175 people.
Currently, in addition to his duties as Supervisor of Elections, Mr. Bennett is a business development consultant with Bright Future Electric. In his spare time he serves on numerous community boards including the SANCA Foundation, the Gulf Coast Builders Exchange, the Florida Maritime Museum, and the Florida Defense Support Task Force. Mr. Bennett is an enthusiastic supporter of Mote Marine Laboratory, The Greater Sarasota Sertoma Club, and Southeastern Guide Dogs among others.
As a military veteran (U.S. Navy 1963 – 1967) Mr. Bennett remains devoted to veterans’ causes. His most treasured accomplishment is the fact that his lovely wife Dee said “yes” when he asked her to marry him. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in November 2016.