Tavares, FL - June 29, 2012
by Vance Jochim - FiscalRangers.com
The Lake County Republican Party met last Wednesday and voted on whether to "certify", "recommend" or "endorse" key local Republicans for various elected offices in Lake County. The category definitions are below. To get a category recommendation, the candidate had to get 2/3 of the REC precinct members present. Some candidates barely got 2/3 of the votes , others got quite a few votes, and some only got about 30% support. About 72 REC voting members were there, but not all voted in each motion.
The results of the event are in a press release at the bottom of this document.
The upset was Margie Eaton receiving the sole "Endorsement" approval of the group for Elections Supervisor. Eaton has been campaigning for almost a year, visiting political groups and has done the most research on her targeted position.
Incumbent Property Appraiser Ed Havill did not get 2/3 approval for the Republican categories. He had dropped out of the Republican party during the Charlie Crist / Jim Greer fiasco, said disparaging things, and then re-registered as a Republican, but did not get approval. I was surprised at how strongly some people felt about that.
The process was chaired by acting REC Chairman, Orin Owen, and was very organized. This was not a hasty meeting, and was the result of early votes on a policy to even allow such votes, then establishing criteria, a screening committee, then a candidate forum for only REC members, then this voting event. So, there was a lot of thought in the process, and members could make motions after the initial votes to propose different scenarios.
The meeting was rather wild, and about 3-hours long, and you might notice some well known candidates or incumbents are not on the list. Most candidates had appeared not only before the committee, but the general private REC forum a week earlier. However, even at this meeting, each candidate got 1 minute to brag. Generally, most approved candidates got a "Certify & Recommend" if they had another approved Republican opponent, thus neither got "Endorsed". The lack of "endorsement" most likely was due to the group members not wanting to select just one candidate in a race when there were two or more that were certified or recommended.
Other upsets were no rankings (i.e. didn't get a 2/3 vote) for incumbent School Board member Debbie Stivender, and no rankings for Elections Superintendent candidate Keith Farner. Stivender has skipped a LOT of candidate forums, and Farner has only been to a few, and did not come to this voting event. Thus a lesson learned is get out early in the election cycle and talk to the folks and don't skip candidate forums run by various local political groups.
This was not a simple process. A committee of key Republican leaders met with all candidates and ran background checks and interviewed them about their Republican values, ability to run the elected office, etc. Then the REC met and went through votes of the committee recommendations, then the members could make motions to move the candidate up or down in the categories, and many motions were made, resulting in the final rankings below. Those not receiving REC support are not listed.
Thus these rankings are based upon the Republican insiders view of the candidate qualities, and I concur with all of them. Use this as a guide for voting in the August primaries. The "Endorsement" ranking means the REC will fully support the candidate, including some financial support and that person has preference over any other Republican or other candidate.
Below is the official REC press release and voting results. The votes did NOT include the candidates for Lake County Water Authority or North Lake County Hospital District, nor did it include State or Federal level offices.
Lake County Republican Party Issues the Following Recommendations for 2012 Elections
Lake REC Urges Voters to Take Notice
Tavares, FL, June 28, 2012 – For Immediate Release – After a rigorous vetting and interview process, the Lake County Republican Executive Committee (REC) has issued its recommendations for the upcoming 2012 local elections in an effort to educate registered voters about those candidates who meet the standard of strong Republican ideals.
The Lake County Republican Executive Committee is comprised of precinct representatives that have stepped forward as Republican leaders in our local communities. These precinct committeemen and women are dedicated to active involvement in our political process and are proud to support their fellow Republican candidates.
Each candidate who participated in the vetting process was eligible for the following recommendations after a vote by the Lake County REC membership:
Certify –The candidate is a Republican in good standing and a reputable citizen.
Recommend – The candidate has met the qualifications to be certified and is deemed suitable for the office they seek. Further, they have demonstrated a strong capacity to perform and communicate in the office they seek, as well as an understanding of the needs of our communities.
Endorse – The Republican Party of Lake County certifies, recommends and publicly declares its support for these candidates and pledges the full resources of the party to insure the endorsed candidates' elections. It is the view of the Lake REC that the endorsed candidates will positively impact the office they seek.
The Lake County Republican Party supports the following candidates:
Lake County Sheriff:
Gary Borders – Certified and Recommended
Sandy Carpenter – Certified and Recommended
Lake County Supervisor of Elections:
Margie Eaton – Endorsed
Lake County Board of County Commissioners:
Tim Sullivan – Endorsed
Jimmy Conner – Endorsed
Lake County School Board:
Bill Mathias – Certified and Recommended
Jimmy Nussbaumer – Certified and Recommended
Rosanne Brandeburg – Certified and Recommended
Jim Miller – Certified and Recommended
Pernell Mitchell – Certified and Recommended
Thuy Lowe – Certified and Recommended
Lake County Property Appraiser:
Carey Baker – Certified and Recommended
Walter Price – Certified and Recommended
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MEDIA CONTACT: Mandy Wettstein, APR, CPRC