Elections roundup for September 10 primary
July/August 2002

In local elections your vote can have a lot of weight, and you can have further impact working with a campaign, in effect creating more votes. Our fall election is coming up fast, with very important voting taking place on September 10. That date will decide one of three school board races outright, and determine the finalists in two other races.

District 5 is the 2 person race, and the Iguana supports Heather "Daine" Danenhower.

Districts 3 and 1 are very crowded fields with five and six candidates respectively.

The teacher's union (Alachua County Education Association) has endorsed Phillip Koon in District 1 and Wesley Eubank in District 3, as well as Heather Daine in District 5.

Koon, the teacher's union choice in District 1, is seen by some to be too close to the School Board administration. Tina Turner is highly regarded and some wish she'd gotten the union endorsement. Ralph Hess has been watchdogging the School Board for many years and really knows the issues.

In District 3, in addition to the union's pick of Eubank, Alan Miller is regarded as being the most progressive and consistent on all the issues, Bill Boe has good knowledge of education issues, and Walt Berry is also well regarded.

There are two county commission seats up this term, with Robert "Hutch" Hutchinson and Dave Newport facing Democratic challengers. Hutch faces a tough challenge from Cynthia Chestnut, who has served as both a Commissioner and as a State Representative in our area in the past 20 years. Her decision to jump in against Hutch is both perplexing and surprising. She should run against Cliff Stearns for U.S. House, where her progressive views on social issues could have some impact. In the County, it's all about developers and Cynthia has shown herself to be less than staunch against the depradations of these moneyed forces in our county. We support Hutch.

Newport's race will be tougher in the long run. He has a "Democrat" challenger in the primary, Lee Pinkoson, who is actually a well-connected Republican who switched to Democrat as part of a strategy to wear down Newport for the general election. In the general election he will face Susan Carter, a Republican who managed City Commission candidate Ed Braddy's upset of John Barrow in the spring.

The upset wins by Republicans in the City Commission races should be a wake-up call for Democratic moderates, liberals, progressives and radicals that apathy and nitpicking discontent over single issues opens the door to the social conservative and pro-development candidates to step back into power.

Privatize Jeb!
Speaking of social conservative pro-business development candidates, Governor Jeb Bush has some Democrat challengers who would like to return Bush to his beloved private sector before he sells off the rest of the state.

Even if you're not excited about Reno or McBride, remember, beating Jeb would be a great message to the rest of the county (and the pretender in the White House) and a good prelude to 2004.

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