Universal Primaries are open to all Parties.
A view from the cheap seats.
Important St Lucie County races.
This month is Primary month in Florida. With the Primary on August 30th and absentee ballots already out and being returned and early voting starting on the 20th we feel the need to make you aware of certain races that some might not know they have a voice in. Past elections have shown the primaries to be lightly attended, only about 25-30% of registered voters come out to vote a ballot. This year I urge you to reconsider. Plenty is going on this primary, and plenty will be decided in August instead of November. There are a few open or universal primaries in St Lucie County. Primary elections are usually closed to all but party members. This year, we have primaries that are open to all because there are no contenders from outside the party. The winner of the primary could win the seat if they win with over 50% of the vote. County Commission District 5 One such primary is for County Commission District 5 (all county races are countywide regardless of district). In this race, the incumbent Kim Johnson has challenges from Cathy Townsend and Alexander Tommie, all registered Democrats but the contest is open to all. Kim Johnson is a motivational speaker and speaks well. We believe it is time to move past the rhetoric and into the nuts and bolts. Mr. Johnson voted for the 10% tax increase, the 4% tax increase. Mr. Johnson talks about the importance of bringing in jobs to the area but beyond the current catch phrases of “mega yachts” and “airport expansion” has had little to offer. Cathy Townsend, on the other hand, is a small business owner who has started multiple successful businesses. Who better to understand what it is like to run a business in St Lucie, a business un-friendly county. Cathy is quite likable as well. She is smart, and she is sharp, has spent many years working with various charities throughout the county, and she should do an excellent job on the commission. I support Cathy’s candidacy and urge registered Republicans and NPAs not to sit this one out as your vote will be counted. One of the first things that Cathy would like to do upon entering office is to repeal the tax increase that Johnson just voted for. Mr. Tommie is part of our local Seminole nation population. Will most likely garner all their vote but not much else.
Cathy Townsend has our endorsement.
County Commission District 1 This race pits three registered Democrats running a primary race against a registered Democrat incumbent. These are rare times indeed. The incumbent is Chris Dzadovsky, one of those who in our opinion, has worked hard to make St Lucie business un-friendly. Chris needs to go. Plain and simple, he has held St Lucie back for too long. Dzadovsky voted to give WastePro a monopoly in trash hauling in the county some years back. Some business owners saw their hauling bill jump 300%. One of Dzadovsky’s contributions made me chuckle because it was $1000 from a swimming pool company. You’ll have to do your own research and draw your own conclusions on that issue. Of the balance of the field, Sal Anicito would seem the most likely candidate. Well rounded and well liked in the community. Tours in the Navy, many years in law enforcement and numerous citations and distinguished service awards. Mr. Anicito was the subject of a TC Palm article some months back and an entry here. Mr. Anicito was closed out of the Democratic Party’s booth at the SLC Fair in February. They would not allow him to get his petitions signed. This move cost Sal $4500. Nothing would make me happier than to see Mr. Anicito beat out the party insider. Robin Bynoe has served this nation for 20 years, retiring from the Army with the rank of Captain. We thank him for his service. Unfortunately, we have little else to go on, and his campaign seems to have little traction. James Monds Jr. lists many many accomplishments for someone his age. However, beyond the mention, there was little back up to go on. So I have to make inferences from what I see and do not see. I see little support, monetarily or verbally on social media.
Sal Anicito has our endorsement.
Property Appraiser Two candidates. Two reasons for running. Michelle Franklin has many years of experience working at the county appraiser’s office in numerous capacities, including Director of Administration and is a State Department of Revenue certified mass appraiser. She is part of an office and team that has won state and national awards and recognition. Adam Locke is a self-proclaimed environmental activist. From reading his responses to questions, we believe he is likely to use his position and this office to thwart any and all necessary development in this county. Something that is outside of the purview of this office. I call that “legislating from the bench.” In our opinion, Mr. Locke is running for the wrong office and under false pretenses.
Endorsement to Michelle Franklin.
County Clerk (The one that got away.) Now here is a race that everyone should have had a chance to vote in. Unfortunately, Joe “Taxpayer Wedding” Smith (T.W.Smith) had Travis Walker entice his mother to file as a write-in candidate closing out Republicans and NPAs from voting in his race. Travis Walker’s mom has no intention of campaigning or running or serving should she win. T.W.Smith and his “trusted advisor” Travis Walker moved to disenfranchise 105,000 registered voters (Republicans and NPAs). While not illegal you have to question the moral values of a public servant and a member of the bar. Why would Travis Walker do such a thing? Could it be that Travis Walker has billed the Clerk’s Office about $500,000 in legal fees since July 2013 for legal work that the clerk’s office used to get for free through county attorneys? Travis Walker would do anything to make sure this gravy train was not stopped on a siding somewhere. T.W.Smith denied to TC Palm he took any action in this move, “We put it out there, and we said, ‘Hey, listen, if someone wants to have a write-in candidate, we will be absolutely OK with that,’ and then it just went out into the ether,” Smith said. Well, I am guessing T.W.Smith breathed in some of that ether because saying what he said is taking action. At least it seems that way to me. It sounds a lot like, “Hey, listen if someone at the County wants to give me a complete, full-blown wedding at taxpayer expense, well I will be completely OK with that.” Not surprising that Joe “Taxpayer Wedding” Smith is also known as Joe “Taxpayer Junket” Smith as well. Expensing $9000 to 12,000 per year on annual retreats. Running against T.W.Smith is Martha Hornsby. Ms. Hornsby is a former Chief Deputy in the Clerk’s Office, with 25 years of experience. The most amazing thing about this race is TC Palm splitting the points for ethics and transparency. Giving half a point to Hornsby and half a point to T.W. Smith. I guess there was a lot of that ether going around at the TC Palm as well. It is unfortunate that the entire county cannot vote on this one. Remember the name Travis Walker because we believe he has political aspirations. He has run before. I am sure that his mother is quite proud of him. T.W.Smith’s time at the public trough should be put to an end.
Endorsement to Hornsby.