Although we will not see Libertarian-branded candidates on the ballot on August 26, 2014, there are some candidates of interest as well as questions to answer. So, even if you’re not affiliated with a political party, or the party you belong does not have a candidate in the race, then you should vote. I will voice my opinion on the general election in October, so if you haven’t already subscribed to this blog’s postings, then do so on the right of this column.
I am focusing on Palm Beach County, because that is where I live in Florida and there are some interesting races happening. I do this before most elections, because I often get asked through phone calls, emails and social media postings, my advice for whom to vote – and why.
The following is my own personal opinion and NOT that of any political party, committee or candidate.
Florida Governor – Democratic Primary
Although you would not know it by listening or reading information from the general media, there is a race between Charlie Crist and Nan Rich. Crist has shown he cannot be trusted, paling around with Ponzi-schemer Scott Rothstein, changing his strong convictions from week to week. He’s a mess, but a media darling. Nan Rich on the other hand is a steadfast, serious liberal Democrat. If you’re a Democrat, your choice is clear with a vote for Nan Rich.
The winner will face the Republican Primary winner, Libertarian Adrian Wyllie , along with the following NPA qualified candidates: Joe Allen, Glenn Burkett and Farid Khavari.
Florida Governor – Republican Primary
Similarly, by listening or reading the mainstream media, Republicans would be shocked to learn Rick Scott is being challenged in the primary tomorrow. The race is between Yinka Abosede Adeshina, Elizabeth Cuevas-Neunder and Rick Scott. I do not have a dog in this race and Scott will easily win, but a contrarian may want to consider Cuevas-Neunder.
The winner will face the Democratic Primary winner, Libertarian Adrian Wyllie, along with the following NPA qualified candidates: Joe Allen, Glenn Burkett and Farid Khavari.
Florida Attorney General – Democratic Primary
This is a race between George Sheldon and Perry Thurston. Go with Thurston if you’re a Democrat. The winner will face Republican Pam Bondi and Libertarian Bill Wohlsifer in the November General Election.
U.S. Congress District 22
Besides incumbent Lois Frankel, who is unopposed in the primary, there are three Republicans vying to run against her (and the write-in candidate) come November. They are David Wagie, Andrea Leigh McGee and Paul Spain. I agree with all three on a long list of issues and have met all three. Like most people, all are very likable when you meet them in person. I can personally relate to all three candidates and their life stories; however, my choice has been between McGee and Spain for a long time. McGee seems very libertarian; however, lacks experience. Spain is a strong free market guy, signed the U.S. Term Limits pledge and has vast experience. He seems out-of-place at candidate forums, which I actually like – he’s not playing the politician role and reminds me of myself in many ways. Unfortunately, I cannot say Spain is the most libertarian in the race, otherwise I would vote for him in a heartbeat. If I was a libertarian-leaning Republican, I would consider the three in this order: 1st McGee, 2nd Spain and 3rd Wagie.
U.S. Congress District 21
There is a Democratic primary between incumbent Ted Deutch and Emmanuel Morel. As with the District 22 race, I do not have a dog in this race because I am not a registered Democrat; however, I would be tempted to go with the underdog, Morel – though I likely would not vote. From a political point of view, I do not agree with either’s positions on most issues. I know Deutch well, and he’s a great guy, overall – however he is not someone I would want representing me in D.C.
U.S. Congress District 20
There is a Democratic primary between three candidates, one of which is Alcee Hastings. If you’re a Democrat, vote for either of the other two and remove Hastings from office – he’s not helping you, he’s hurting you. Ugh!
U.S. Congress District 18
What an interesting race between 6 (count them SIX!) Republican candidates seeking to oust Democratic incumbent Patrick Murphy in the November General Election – Beverly Hires, Carl Domino, Calvin Turnquest, Brian Lara, Alan Schlesinger, Nick Wukoson. Admittingly, I have not followed these candidates closely enough to offer an opinion, though I know Domino and Turnquest. I will take this moment to say to the liberals out there that think Tea Partiers are racist: I know several tea partiers that are supporting Calvin Turnquest and he’s black – just like they supported Allen West. Tea Partiers ARE NOT racists! Are there some that are, I am sure – just like I am sure there are some hardcore liberals that are racists. I am tired of hearing on the television and in person, uninformed ignorant statements saying Tea Party supporters are all racists – that is B.S. Wish I could be of better help on this one.
A WORD ABOUT JUDGES
For me, and most ‘regular folks’ in the county, voting for judges can always be a challenge, because we are not in front of judges very often. Though we all may know one or many attorneys in our personal lives, any running for judge we likely will not know well. For this reason I often rely on attorney or judge friends to tell me the merits of the candidates. It is through this lens I offer the following opinions on the races for the two that are running tomorrow in Palm Beach County. One thing that will be interesting to see on Tuesday evening is how close each of the two races are.
Circuit Judge 15th Judicial Circuit Group 14
Normally judge races are not very exciting; however, the fight between Jessica Ticktin and Diana Lewis (incumbent) is interesting. I have consulted with at least 9 attorneys or friends that know each well. Normally such races are a slam dunk – whereas it is heavily weighted from one to the other. Lewis was recently in the news as ruling Florida’s gay marriage ban is unconstitutional, which got me to wondering why many of my conservative friends are supporting her. The irony. Apparently Ticktin would have ruled similarly. This race is the closest I have seen with those I spoke with, and it tipped in Ticktin’s favor by one.
Circuit Judge 15th Judicial Circuit Group 30
This is a race between Jamie Goodman, Maxine Cheeseman and Peggy Rowe-Linn. I wish I could offer a reasonable opinion on this race; however, the opinion of those I spoke with about each was split. So, you are on your own with this one.
School Board District 3
This is a race between David Mech, Karen Brill and John Hartman. I ha
ve met all three at candidate forums – again, all three are very likable people. As I wrote in a previous article about this race and a few others, Mech states he’s a libertarian, but then says some things that are not libertarian. I have friends voting for Brill and Hartman, while I haven’t heard anyone voting for Mech. I do not know if that is due to his arriving in shorts and flip-flops at candidate forums (which I like) while other candidates are in suits, or if they do not like his lifestyle. Regardless, he is clearly the smartest and reasonable person in the race, so being a contrarian, it would be interesting to see Mech on the School Board.
Delray Beach – Charter Amendment: Removal of City Manager
The city has had its share of problems hiring and keeping a city manager the commission can get along with. This question on the August 26th ballot is asking voters to change the ability of the commission to remove a city manager with a vote of at least 3 instead of the current 4. Personally, I will be voting “NO” as I feel, long-term, it is a mistake to change the vote to a simple majority from a super majority as it is now.
Lake Worth – 2020 Bonds
The City of Lake Worth is posing a question to its city voters on August 26th, and that is whether to issue $63,500,000 in bonds to raise money in an effort to “acquire and improve roadway, sidewalk, street light, streetscape, drainage and water and sewer facilities located within the City.” It is strongly likely a libertarian, or even a libertarian-leaning voter would vote “NO” to this bond. There is little accountability and there is no clear path to paying back this bond. Lake Worth does suffer from a prior regimes poor management of the city; however, this bond is not the answer.