Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Off & Running, Candidates Make Their Pitch at Republican Gathering 

It was a packed house at the Fort White Community Center last night. The faulty air-conditioning did nothing to dampen the spirits of those who came to hear their candidates.

Sheriff Hunter thanks the community for its support.

FORT WHITE, FL – A malfunctioning air conditioner didn't dampen the spirits of the throng of folks that turned out to support their favorite candidates at the first Republican meet the candidate night in Columbia County. The Democrats have no presence and Master of Ceremonies, Republican leader Buddy Hines, ran a mostly non-partisan event, other than the cake auctions, where all the money went to the republicans. The cake auction turned out to be where the action was. Running unopposed, Sheriff Hunter got blown out of coconut cake auction ($320) and a couple of other ones. Finally, he donated $100 and said he would try again at the next candidate night. Keep your eye on the coconut cake and the Sheriff at the next event.

School Superintendent

The three candidates for School Superintendent (left to right): L.C. Bradley, Lex Carswell, Superintendent Terry Hudleston.

Arguably, the most difficult, important, and underpaid job in the County is Superintendent of Schools. It has been said that a school district is "the anchor of the community."

The County has limited itself by not allowing the school board to hire a superintendent, which would make it possible for the district to search across America to find the best candidate it can afford, rather than making the superintendent a popularity contest among various factions of good ole' boys.

If you care about the future of Columbia County, this is one race you should learn about.

Circuit Court Judge

(left to right) Challenger T. Bradley McRae and Judge Bryan

The Third Circuit has a real race for Circuit Court Judge.

The ethics and financial dealings of a judge should be beyond reproach.

Judge Paul Bryan says he only wants this last term and then he will retire. Problems with ethics and finances plague Judge Bryan.

His competitor, T. Bradley McRae is not a good ole' boy, nor is he connected to the political establishment. He is not plagued by ethics or financial issues.

Mr. McRae said he loves the law.

A judge can affect your life in a moment. This is a race you need to be informed about.

County Commissioner District 1

Oni Allen and Commissioner Ron Williams.

This year the iconic veteran Ronald Williams is again being challenged by Oni Allen.

Mr. Williams has been District 1's Commissioner since 1982. Ms. Allen thinks that Mr. Williams has been a commissioner long enough and her reserved style is a stark contrast to Commissioner Williams' extroverted way of doing things.

County Commissioner District 5: A Horse Race

(left to right) B. Faithful Coker, Commissioner Frisina, Tim Murphy

District 5 has a horse race with four contestants.

The three which appeared last night are all Columbia County natives.

B. Faithful Coker is educated, a paralegal, and community activist. This is her first run for public office. Ms. Coker has a lot of relatives.

Scarlet Frisina has served as District 5's commissioner for the past seven years. Ms. Frisina has an Associates degree; is a supporter of the rural life style and farming and has a lot of relatives.

Tim Murphy is making his second run at Ms. Frisina. Tim Murphy is a welder and a business man. He is a Governor Scott appointee to the Lake Shore Hospital Authority. He bought a cake for $200. He has a lot of relatives.

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