(Click “Like” to become a fan of the Palm Coast Observer.)
In the second installment of a two-part series, six candidates from four different races answered questions Wednesday night at the final Flagler Votes elections forum.
The forum, which was put on by the Flagler County Chamber of Commerce & Affiliates, the Flagler County Association of Realtors and the Flagler Home Builders Association, featured candidates in the races for Flagler County judge, Florida Representative District 24, Florida Senate District 6 and U.S. House District 6.
In the Florida Representative District 24 race, Democratic candidate Milissa Holland — who is currently a Flagler County Commissioner — answered questions uncontested, as Republican candidate Travis Hutson was a no-show.
David Ayres, general manager of NewsRadio WNZF and moderator of the event, asked on more than one occasion whether a representative from Hutson’s campaign was in attendance and wanted to speak on his behalf, but no one responded.
According to Lea Stokes, chairwoman of the Flagler Votes forum committee, Hutson had previously confirmed via phone that he would be in attendance, but a representative arrived midway through the forum and said he had a conflict and couldn't make it.
“It was a big disappointment for our business community,” Stokes said.
In addition, Ron DeSantis, the Republican candidate for the U.S. House District 6 seat — challenging Democratic candidate Heather Beaven — confirmed with the committee that he would not be in attendance.
Candidates for Flagler County judge began the night, when Melissa Moore Stens and Craig Atack answered one question: “Describe how your life experience will help you relate to the people who come before you.”
Holland then answered seven questions, which included questions on the budget and how she can help Flagler County.
In the Florida Senate District 6 race, John Thrasher (Republican) and Kathleen Trued (Democrat) answered questions about education and immigration.
Meanwhile, Heather Beaven, Democratic candidate for U.S. House District 6, answered questions about national security and Palm Coast’s Federal Aviation Administration facility.
Here are soundbites from Wednesday’s candidate forum:
“My life experience is quite varied. When I was growing up, I actually dabbled here and there working in different places. ... I worked my way through college. ... When I decided to go to law school, it was because (retail) wasn’t the career path I felt was for me. ... In my practice as a business owner here in Flagler County, I have to earn the respect and trust of all of you. ... I deal with people day in and day out. ... I’ve helped a lot of people in this community, and I think that speaks volumes for my life experience and how that would contribute to being on the bench.” — Flagler County Judge candidate Melissa Moore Stens, on how her life experiences will help her relate to the people who come before her
“This position is not about our resumes. ... The county judge needs to be someone that you trust who will put the duties of this job before his or her own accomplishments. ... The county judge is really the link between the citizens of the county and our system of justice, and you need to know that that person will be pleasant, respectful and will treat all people fairly. ... This job is something I hold dear to me heart — it’s not just a feather in my hat or a stepping stone to my next job.” — Flagler County judge candidate Craig Atack, during his closing statements
“I’m obviously a huge advocate — education is one of my top platforms in running. I think we need to make wise investments in education. ... I don’t necessarily object to the charter schools. ... The problem that I object to is if you’re going to use public tax dollars for education ... then those private companies should not be able to use those dollars and sell the building and make a profit off that building. ... If you’re going to use public dollars, it should be retained in public ownership. So there’s a flawed system in regard to charter schools that we have to address. ... We also have to give local control to the school boards. I believe strongly that local control is the best way to govern. Absolutely.” — Florida Representative District 24 candidate Milissa Holland, on whether the state should play a role in making sure the playing field remains level between charter schools and traditional public schools.
“I know that’s a little bit of what my opponent is running on. ... I am known not to back down; I’m known to take a stand on very strong issues, and I have worked collaboratively with Republicans, Democrats and independents. ... There are issues that I have taken on that clearly demonstrate the fact that I have support on all sides. I’m a consensus-builder; I work hard to make sure that not only we’re dealing with issues in this district, but on statewide issues. ... I’m running for this district because I love this county. I’m running for this district because I want good representation in this county for the first time in 48 years.” — Florida Representative District 24 candidate Milissa Holland, on being a Democratic freshman representative in a Republican-dominated Legislature
“I think one of the things that we all have been concerned about is the potential impact that illegal immigration has not only on our state, but in our country. ... I, personally, introduced an amendment to a bill a year ago that would create the e-Verify system in the state of Florida for businesses. It would allow businesses to go online and understand whether or not the person they were getting ready to hire had come to this country legally or not. It didn’t pass. ... We have got to find a way to ensure that those folks who are trying to get in here legally, that we create the system of guarding our boarders so we can’t get any further illegal aliens in. ... We do what we can for those who are here to ensure they have a pathway to citizenship in this country.” — Florida Senator District 6 candidate John Thrasher, on what he thinks the state’s position should be on illegal immigration
“When you go back a dozen years ... the support of our public schools came from the general fund, and the rest came from the backs of homeowners within the counties. ... It is almost reversed. The state is now giving us only 30%. And each county’s citizen homeowner — taxpayer — has to come up with the difference. In addition, we have had a division with the charter schools and the public schools. The regular public school child has all of the mandates that have to be filed. Huge mandates. The charter schools have flexibility within. Half of the charter schools in Florida are floundering or have failed. The other half that are doing well were only supposed to go into the places where there was a failing school. The problem with the charter schools is that many of them are corporate schools for profit. That profit is on the back of our local tax dollar. That means your money is going into somebody else’s private school. ... Now, I am so passionate about this because I see our wonderful children who should have what they need within the public schools and they are being denied. ... Equity is important for each of our children and for each of us.” — Florida Senator District 6 candidate Kathleen Trued, on whether she would change how education is funded in Florida
“The first thing that we can do is not privatize our infrastructure and our first responders. ... I don’t think that privatizing air traffic controllers ... is a smart thing to do with air safety in the world that we live in now. I see air traffic controllers as first responders. I also see our particular facility here as an economic driver.” — U.S. House District 6 candidate Heather Beaven, on what she thinks the county and the state should do to make sure that the Federal Aviation Administration’s training facility stays in Flagler County
“Our military isn’t built to nation-build, they’re not trained to do that, that’s not their mission, that’s not what they should be doing. I really stand firm against nation-building as a part of our military. ... I also said that the military of the 21st century needs to be more nimble. ... And what I meant by that is terrorists, you can’t tell them by uniform. This is a whole new enemy we’re fighting. ... We saw a perfect example of what I think our military is moving to ... is that it will be fast action. Fast in, fast out, and home. We will not be seeing decade-long wars in the future. ... I think what we did with Osama bin Laden is a perfect example of what I envision our military in the future — you have a mission, you have orders, you execute that mission, and then you come home.” — U.S. House District 6 candidate Heather Beaven, on what role she thinks the U.S. should play in overseas military conflicts
EARLY VOTING HAS BEGUN
General election day is Tuesday, Nov. 6. Early voting will take place 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, Oct. 27 through Nov. 3, at the Flagler County Public Library, 2500 Palm Coast Parkway N.W., and at the Flagler County Supervisor of Elections Office, 1769 E. Moody Blvd., Building 2, Suite 101, Bunnell.
Currently 2 Responses
- It isn't about the issues, it's about the money. In politics, they all say what you want to hear during an election and then it is all forgotten after the election anyway. With that said, when other states were going bankrupt post 2008, Florida did NOT go bankrupt thanks to Gov. Scott. Tough love for the free-loaders. NOTHING is ever 'free'. Enough said.
- Wow, of all those statements above who is really addressing concerns we have in Flagler, no doubt Milissa, Kathleen & Heather really hit the nail on the head. We see our schools failing, our jobs being privatized and burdens are being shifted on to the taxpayers. This speaks volumes to how the Republican Senate in Tallahasee is governing Florida and directly impacting our local community. I'm done with the "good oleboys" ilike John Thrasher. Year, after year, this guy ends up in one office or another - is he skirting term limits by jumping from house to house? When is he going to figure out that he is hurting and not helping our communities by voting with Gov. Scott 100% of the time? The automatic pay raises they get year after year? Wasn't John Thrasher the Speaker of the House that was brought up on ethics violations? I saw something about how he has been in Tallahassee so long that it is like his primary residence. Aren't our representatives supposed to live permanently in the places they represent. How is he going to fight for Flager or any of the other counties for that matter? He's voted against woman's issues 100% of the time too. I'm voting for Milissa, Heather & Kathleen Trued. We need to give them " ole boys " a ticket outta there. Feash faces, experienced, qualified and looking out for us here in the counties, that is what we need.
21 Afro-American Caribbean Heritage Organization Meeting
21 Tea Party Meeting
21 Palm Coast Digital Society Meeting
21 Marine Corps Meeting
Premier: Rotary of Flagler County gets thumbs up
Also, Club President Rick Staly was recognized with a "Well Done" Award.
Friends of A1A produce videos to promote cycling and safety along the coastal byway
The Friends of A1A has produced six new videos designed to attract more cycling visitors to the 72-mile Scenic & Historic A1A Coastal Byway that travels through St. Johns and Flagler counties. Also, AAUW awards scholarships and loggerheads have arrived.
Palm Coast offers summer recreation, tennis, golf camps for children, teens
The city of Palm Coast is planning a summer of fun and recreation for children and teens through its summer camp at Parks & Recreation, as well as summer golf and tennis camps.