My oldest son registered to vote for the first time and I started to think a little about how elections and politics must look to a new voter. I still remember voting in my first year of college and how important I felt it was to be a part of the system. Feeling entitled to have a voice and feeling the obligation to make good choices meant a lot to me, even then.
Elections (Primary) are about choice, but having a voice endorsing candidates can mean a lot as well. Be sure to check the links to Municipal Candidates, if you live inside Fernandina Beach city limits.
In the city races, I feel both commissions in office, Roy Smith and Len Kreger, are the most qualified to continue to represent the City of Fernandina.
Roy Smith (City Commissioner) has been willing to take unpopular stances and willing to ask questions, when needed. His recent opinion on sales tax revenue was good. We need to think about funding maintenance for streets and sustainability. Roy has my vote and I appreciate his service.
Len Kreger (City Commissioner) also has my support. He has been diligent, active as both a commissioner and in support of a number of local causes. He was chair of the PAB for a long time and involved with causes like sustainability, smart development, stormwater planning and beaches. He is a true advocate and tirelessly works to make Fernandina a better place. He is also one of the best prepared commissioners I’ve ever known.
I also support two candidates, in particular, for other local races.
Aaron Bell is running for County Commission. He has been involved for years with Nassau County Economic Development and a part of local politics for the entire time I’ve known him. Well-educated, articulate and prepared, he would be an excellent full-time commissioner and, I feel, would be an advocate for jobs and the local economy.
Mike Cole, I know personally, and respect. We were on a board together in 2014 and/or 15 and I was consistently impressed with his preparation and intelligence. He is running for the OHPA District 5 seat.
Finally, I prefer several names in the bigger races.
Joe Zimmerman, I’ve known for years. He has been extremely helpful to me, when he worked with Janet Adkin’s office and I know his level of knowledge puts him far ahead of other candidates. I felt disappointed in the changes with a negative impact for Nassau and a negative impact to beach access. In this race, I feel we would do well with a change of representation. By the way, his website is one of the best I’ve seen. If organization means anything….my hat is off to Joe.
Aaron Bean is running for re-election. While we don’t always agree, I’ve known him for many years and he has been diligent in representing the county. The general election is some time away and I also think representation is important. Aaron has a better chance to work for our interests and is developing into a better representative each year.
Finally, I like Rick Scott. As governor, he was proactive in reaching out to our local representatives. I was pleasantly surprised to hear from him, personally, as a City Commissioner and Mayor. I also witnessed, first hand, his handling of disasters and efforts to improve Florida’s economy. He was and is a great governor. He has my vote and endorsement in the primary and general election as our new United States Senator. I was involved in local politics when Crawford Diamond held an inauguaral groundbreaking event attended by Governor Scott and watched him eventually approve funding for a drainage project here on the island, saving millions for local government. He tends to remember people and does, in my opinion, care.