Welcome to Flagler PolitiBlog! It's early, I know, but the next round of elections next year will be big ones, and I'm hoping that by talking about the key players early on in the process, we can be more engaged and, hopefully, more people will vote. One promise I can make about this blog is that the posts will be short. :)
I'll start this project by reporting on a press release I received today from a new group called Flagler Palm Coast Forum. The group met April 28, at Cypress Knoll Golf Club, and two people announced that they were running in the elections next year.
First, Tom Bexley is running for Flagler County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller. Gail Wadsworth, who has been in that office since 2001, is retiring in December 2016 and is promoting Bexley as her replacement. I went to meet with Bexley and Wadsworth today, so I'll report on that meeting later.
The second candidate is Jerry O’Gara, and he's running for Flagler County sheriff. According to his filing papers on flaglerelections.com, O'Gara's full name is Gerard John O'Gara, and he is a former law enforcement officer from New York. I'll plan to contact him in the near future, also, and have a short story about him.
One thing that strikes me is that these two men have filed their paperwork extremely early. The actual qualifying period isn't until next June, so we are 13 or 14 months away. Bexley told me that he wanted to start building name recognition now, becuase even though it's not a great aspect of our system, it does turn out to be partly a popularity contest, so you have to be known if you want to win.
To conclude this first post of Flagler PolitiBlog, I want to make a note about this new group, Flagler Palm Coast Forum. The press release says the group's "mission and goals have been left for determination by Forum members in the coming days."
So why form a group if there are no goals or missions?
The press release says there were more than 50 in attendance, and they agreed that it should be a group where "views can be expressed freely, respect shown to all, and where personal attacks are expressly forbidden."
It seems likely that part of this group's mission is to provide an alternative for political types who are turned off by all the antics of the Ronald Reagan Republican Assembly of Flagler County, which is now in charge of the Republic Executive Committee, kicked out Frank Meeker, and disbanded the county and city's Republican Clubs. I'll try to find someone to explain more about this club in the near future.
Also, this blog is nonpartisan. I'll try to keep it equally weighted between the parties, and I welcome anyone to contact me with political news or rumors. Even the RRR leaders, who apparently think the Observer doesn't like them, are welcome to contact me for equal treatment. Email me at [email protected].