Atkins served for 18 years on the Sarasota City Commission

Former Sarasota Mayor Fredd Atkins is taking another shot at trying to win a seat on the Sarasota County Commission.

Atkins, a Democrat, filed Wednesday to run for the District 1 seat currently held by GOP County Commissioner Mike Moran.

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“This is an historic election for the county, and certainly for me,” Atkins said in a news release. “For too long this commission has turned its back on the citizens of the county by allowing over-development, ignoring key environmental issues and not facilitating access to affordable housing for everyone.”

A native of Sarasota, Atkins served on the Sarasota City Commission for 18 years. He lost three previous races for a County Commission seat, and lost a 2017 bid to return to the City Commission.

But in the previous county elections Atkins had to run countywide. The new single-member district system of selecting commissioners means only voters in each district can vote in those races.

District 1 currently has more Democrats than Republicans, although the commission is in the midst of redrawing the district boundaries.

Atkins carried District 1, which includes a portion of northern Sarasota County, when he ran in 2016, but lost the countywide vote.

“If the commission does not gerrymander this district, we definitely will be favored to win," Atkins said. "If they do change the district, we will just work harder. We have a loyal and energetic team of volunteers determined to win this election — from all backgrounds that represent the diversity of the district.”