Letter: Stop the ugly rumors Senator Thrasher
Former St Johns County Republican State Committeeman
It is no secret that Senator John Thrasher is seeking to become the President of Florida State University, and I think it would be a well-deserved reward for a long career in public service. He is also the most qualified person for the job.
However, there is an ugly rumor going around that Senator Thrasher, certain members in the Senate and House Leadership and with the complicity of certain members of the Board of Trustees have all colluded to create a scenario that would rob Senate District 6 and House District 17 residents of the right to select their Senator and Representative.
Under Florida Law the Republican Executive Committee Chairman, the State Committeewoman and the State Committeeman in counties within the district, will select a candidate to replace a candidate who can no longer complete their run for office.
This is the same procedure that was used to put Daniel Davis on the ballot in place of Jennifer Carrol after she won her primary and was then selected by Governor Scott to be his running mate. This is precisely the situation this provision is designed to meet. It is a proper use in such a circumstance.
The rumor has it that Senator Thrasher intended to wait till the close of qualifying and planned to walk away after that date, if he had no Republican opposition, then the Local Party officials would make the pick to replace him on the ballot.
The rumor is also that Senator Thrasher’s replacement would be State Representative Doc Renuart — apparently the Florida Medical Association wants him to take Senator Thrasher’s place — opening his seat and, once again the local party officials would make the pick to replace him.
Thus in one fell swoop, the local citizens in the affected districts would be deprived of their right to determine their replacements. There is very much, very wrong with this.
By seeking the appointment early on, Senator Thrasher has made it known that he is a short timer. That is fine, he is entitled to do as he wishes. However, he owes a duty to his constituents and to the process to honor and respect the intended functioning of our electoral system.
This scenario, if it plays out, would be a serious breach of trust on his part, the part of the Trustees of Florida State and anyone who steps into that seat on this thin guise of plausibility.
I call on Senator Thrasher to clarify his intentions. If he truly believes that he should continue as the Senator in the 6th District, he should renounce his intentions to seek the job at FSU.
If, on the other hand, he still intends to seek the FSU position, he should resign his Senate seat immediately and allow the law to function in a manner that respects the rights of his constituents; to do otherwise was not what the founders of the Florida Constitution intended and may violate Florida law. Please do the right thing Senator Thrasher.
I also call on Doc Renuart to do the same thing. Either declare definitively he intends to remain as the elected Representative for House District 17 or resign and declare his intention to seek the District 6 Senate Seat upon the resignation of John Thrasher.
Regrettably, if the alleged scenario should play out as rumored, it would be a serious slap to the face of the voters.