This letter is in response to an article written by Peter Guinta that appeared in The Record on Friday, September 11th; entitled “Senate candidates jab during final forum”.
I had the opportunity to attend the St. Johns County Republican Executive Committee Candidates Forum at the Yacht Club the other day.
During the forum, I met Former House Speaker and Lobbyist John Thrasher, and after a few pleasantries asked him directly and pointedly why he was running for the State Senate? He told me in 30 second or less, and the answer was very direct, and impressive.
Second, as a resident and taxpaying citizen I mention my concerns, which is St. Augustine/St. Johns County and what he had planned to do if he were elected with reference to our future (St. Augustine being the oldest occupied European community in North American) and to include the 450th and 500th. He again impressed me, with his answer.
We continued to chat, and he mentioned that he’d hit the ground running. I agree he does need to do. Then he made one last comment, which sealed the deal for me! He stated that he was a local resident and lives in St. Augustine, and, if elected he would be the first to represent District 8, and reside in St. Augustine. Funny, thing when I entered the Yacht Club for the forum my mind was set to vote for either Dan or Art.
I did ask my friend Dan Quiggle, why he was running, and he too gave me his thoughts, which too were impressive. Did not get a chance to meet the other candidates, but have heard some great things about Art Graham. More importantly, glad the Republican party has made some strides in motivating candidates to run for office at the state level.
I decided to vote for John Thrasher during early voting on Saturday, and am asking you to consider voting for him for the reason states above. And, because we are in a watershed of a political season and during these times we need an experience hand at the helm to lead us. And, John brings that lobbyist, legislative, and political experience to the table, and I fear this would be lost if other candidates were elected this season for this seat.
We know Senator Hill-District 1 has been a servant for the resident of St. Augustine and St. Johns County, and has tried to maximize all economic development opportunities on our behalf. It is in the same leadership, philosophical and political reasoning that brings me to the conclusion that we need another leader and servant on the Republican side of the Senate to assist us maximize all opportunities.
More importantly, with John’s political capital and Republican Majority in the Senate he is likely to immediately become a member of one or more of the more prominent committees, and if elected he may even become the chair of a committee, which immediately means political bacon for District 8, which includes St. Augustine and St. Johns County.
Derek Boyd Hankerson
St. Augustine, FL
Derek Boyd Hankerson is former vice president of the St. Johns County Republican Executive Committee, and was an alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention. He served as an advance representative for the presidential and vice presidential administrations of George Herbert Walker Bush and the presidential administration of George W. Bush. He also served in the White House as assistant to the associate director of Public Liaison, assistant to the Director for State and Congressional Affairs for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and assistant to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in President George W. Bush’s administration. He worked for the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners for five years.