Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Columbia County/Lake City Issues & Ballot Initiatives
That Matter to All

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Yesterday was election day across the nation. On Wednesday morning, no one knows who has been elected president. It has been said that "all politics are local." Here are the local results that matter, but first – the presidential race.

President: as expected, Columbia County is Trump country. You can follow the presidential results here.

Columbia County Presidential results

U.S. Congress: Neil Dunn (Rep) and Al Lawson (Dem) were returned to office as expected. Both won by wide margins. Congressman Dunn's team keeps the Observer advised of what the congressman is doing. The Observer has never heard a word from the Democrat Lawson.

State Senator: Jennifer Bradley made it official. She is replacing her husband, Senator Rob Bradley in the Florida Senate. The Senator elect is bright, articulate, and knowledgeable. If one looked closely, one may have seen that Senator Rob Bradley was filling his wife's shoes. She will now get her shoes back and will be a potent force in the Florida Senate.

Columbia County results for FL state senator

State Representative: Chuck Brannan, as expected, won reelection. His top flight staff keeps his district informed.

Fl representative Chuck Brannan

County Tax Collector: Kyle Keen was elected to replace the popular Ronnie Brannon (retired) as Columbia County Tax Collector. Mr. Keen, a veteran of the office, was the number one vote getter in the County, and percentage wise, out did President Trump.

County Tax Collector Kyle Keen

County 5: Robby Hollingsworth handily defeated 8 year incumbent Sylvester "Bucky" Nash. Mr. Hollingsworth comes from a political line and is widely considered as one of the County's infamous "good ole' boys." It will be interesting to watch if Mr. Hollingsworth respects Florida's Sunshine law, something which some members of the County 5 have issues with.

County Commissioner District 3 - Hollingsworth

City Council: Todd Sampson, in a squeeker, replaces Melinda Moses on the Lake City, City Council. Mr. Sampson is a local businessman who is not politically connected. During the campaign, Mr. Sampson has been doing his homework with City officials and others. He is expected to hit the ground running. The word on the street is to keep your eye on the future of City Attorney Fred Koberlein, Jr., who has been problematic and seems at times to be running his own counter government.

City Council results - Todd Sampson

Town of Fort White Mayor: Ronnie Frazier was reelected as Mayor of Fort White. By the end of his first term, Mr. Frazier came to the belief that he didn't have to answer questions form the public during it's public meetings and stopped answering questions. It will be interesting to see what his second term brings.

Fort White Mayor Ronnie Frazier results

State Constitutional Amendment 2: known as the living-wage amendment. This amendment would raise the minimum hourly wage in Florida to $15 hr. by 2026. The Amendment passed in Florida and failed in Columbia County. State constitutional amendments require a 60% majority to pass.

State Constitutional Amendment 3: known as the open primary amendment. This amendment if passed, would have given Florida open primaries in which anyone could vote. It was opposed by the Republicans and Democrats alike. Columbia County beat the state-wide total of 57% for, but the amendment failed.

Open primaries results - Columbia County

County Charter Amendments: In spite of the illegal advertising fostered on the County by County Attorney Joel Foreman, all the amendments did not pass, notably, the Charter Amendment which gave a County department head the right to appeal his/her dismissal to the county commission. This is the second time this amendment failed and only one member of the Charter Review Commission, Kim Skinner, stood against the amendment. The other amendments, were nothing more than micromanaging the county government. Intentionally hidden deep inside the circuitous cavern of this Charter Review Cycle was the Leon County Code of Ethics, which the voters passed, and now becomes the Columbia County Code of Ethics.

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