Incumbents win Observer support, along with Sims Jones, David Alfin and Andy Dance.
We are proud to announce our candidate endorsements.
Over the years we have changed our approach. Some years we enlisted staff members to be a part of the process. Other years we have invited non staff members to be involved. This year we are taking another approach. The following endorsements for 2020 City of Palm Coast Council, Flagler County Commission, Flagler County Sheriff, Florida house of Representatives and Florida State Senate are my personal views. My views are the culmination of conversations with friends, associates, community leaders and other like minded citizens.
Last week we presented our Election Guide, in which we asked candidates standardized questions by each race. I, too, answered each question as to how much I disagree or agree, and then I matched up my answers to the candidates’ answers to see which candidates I align most with. It should be no surprise that, as a publisher of a newspaper, I support measures that will promote business growth. Greater business growth means more advertisers, as well as more jobs and lower taxes for you and your neighbors.
Here are my candidate endorsements.
Palm Coast Mayor
I endorse Mayor Milissa Holland for re-election.
On Tuesday, Oct. 6, project MedNex went from concept to reality. University of North Florida President David M. Szymanski and Daytona State College President Tom Lobasso signed the official agreement for the creation and ongoing operation of MedNex in Town Center, Palm Coast. MedNex will be a catalyst for institutional economic development opportunities in education and healthcare for Palm Coast. The project was the vision of Mayor Milissa Holland.
Because of her dedication, passion and fortitude, MedNex gained widespread support from local elected officials in the city and county, private enterprises and institutions from around our region and support at the state level led by Rep. Paul Renner and Sen. Travis Hutson. MedNEx represents the greatest business and job growth opportunity our community has seen since the ITT came to town in 1978.
City Council, Seat 3
I support Nick Klufas for re-election.
Four years ago Klufas, an unknown at the time, entered and won the race for Palm Coast City Council. Throughout his term in office, we have seen positive changes in the City. Klufas has been instrumental in changing the way the city of Palm Coast does business for the better. He was instrumental in increasing cell capacity throughout the city. He was instrumental in creating a new digital process for the building department. He has been a strong supporter of the Be Local Buy Local initiative to support local business. He has been supportive of diverse housing in Town Center and other high-density-appropriate areas in Palm Coast. Klufas has been supportive of Sheriff Rick Staly resulting in a significant reduction in crime.
City Council, Seat 1
I endorse Sims Jones for election.
In the early campaign Sims Jones talked about creating a Palm Coast police department. But after he researched the cost-benefit analyst, he changed his position. During a local political forum when asked about it, he admitted he was wrong about creating a new police department. Yes, a candidate actually stood up and admitted he was wrong!
Sims Jones is a man of high integrity. We need Sims Jones to represent us on Palm Coast City Council Seat 1.
City Council, Seat 2
I endorse David Alfin for election.
Three of four candidates in this race are new to local politics. The fourth has previously failed as a candidate for mayor of Palm Coast and Flagler County commission. I opposed his position on community issues then and I oppose them now. No thank you, Dennis.
Of the three other candidates, David Alfin has proven his dedication to making our community better by serving as president of the Flagler Education Foundation, leadership role with the Chamber of Commerce, local and state real estate associations and owner-operator of several local businesses. He is an experienced entrepreneur. Of the three candidates, his positions on local business support, affordable (diverse) housing, economic development and community safety most align with my point of view.
County Commission, District 1
I endorse Andy Dance for election.
Andy Dance and I align on our position on the issues facing Flagler County. We agree that Jerry Cameron is doing a great job as county administrator and is building a better organization for our future. We agree that the county can be more effective in economic development. We agree that more diverse housing will help attract young professionals to our area and allow our aging population to downsize in safe and high-quality housing. We agree that developers are treated fairly. And we agree safety of our citizens is a priority. Andy Dance is a servant leader.
County Commission, District 5
I endorse my friend Donald O’Brien for re-election.
Doanld O’Brien and I are like minded in many ways, including trust in a free market, support of local business, creating more jobs, educating our workforce, landowners’ property rights, balance of quality of life and development, keeping taxes low and fighting against crime in our community. Enough said. I support Donald O’Brien for re-election.
Flagler County Sheriff
I endorse Sheriff Rick Staly for re-election.
When comparing my position to the position of the two candidates in this race, I clearly am aligned with Sheriff Rick Staly. The reduction of our crime rate speaks volume about Sheriff Staly’s effectiveness in law enforcement. His staff and leadership are diverse. If you think calling the jail the Green Roof Inn is demeaning to inmates, then don’t be an inmate! I confronted Sheriff Staly on his budget request claiming any increase was unnecessary but changed my mind when I learned that the investments in technology and personnel development must continue. Our community witnessed the effective deployment of community policing several weeks ago when our community demonstrated and protested against social injustice without any incident of violence. Rick Staly is a top cop and should be re-elected as Flagler County Sheriff.
State House and Senate
I endorse District 24 Rep. Paul Renner and District 7 Sen. Travis Hutson for re-election.
My position on issues facing the state of Florida to that of Rep. Renner and Sen. Hutson are almost exactly the same. We agree that face masks should be an individual responsibility. We agree that the state did a remarkable job supporting the economy during this pandemic. Florida job growth is greater than most other states, and that is proof the state is doing a great job attracting more businesses. Both Renner and Hutson provided great leadership to increase access to health care throughout the state. Both Renner and Hutson were instrumental in acquiring state support and state funding for the creation of MedNex. Re-elect Rep. Paul Renner and Sen. Travis Hutson.