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FOCUSED ON THE ECONOMY Christine Robinson is the Republican candidate for the District 3 seat on the Sarasota County Com- mission. Photo by Norman Schimmel CHRISTINE ROBINSON SEEKING HER FIRST ELECTED TERM ON THE SARASOTA COUNTY COMMISSION By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor Editor's note: The Sarasota News Leader was unsuccessful in reaching Jennifer Co- hen of Nort Port, Democratic candidate for Sarasota County Commission District 3, for an interview. Christine Robinson, the Re- publican candidate for that seat, talked with the News Leader on Oct. 16. For Sarasota County Commissioner Christine Robinson of Venice, her campaign focus has been jobs and the economy. Even the annual citizens survey undertaken by Sarasota County has shown the economy to be the No. 1 issue since 2008, Robinson points out. "We've made a lot of progress," she says, with the unemployment rate having fallen from an average of 12.2 percent in 2010 to 8.7 percent in September. Still, the commission needs to keep its sights on measures it can continue to take to lower the rate even more, Robinson says. Although some parties have criticized the commission for using incentives to bring new or relocating businesses to Sarasota County, Robinson defends that action. "Sarasota had a notoriously well-earned, long-time bad rep- utation in the business community, both local- ly and outside the county," she says. "It was tough for us to get a seat at the table when

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