GOP elects new State Committeeman

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Natalie Reichenberg leads pledge
Natalie Reichenberg leads pledge
Decisions are made by those who show up, and that was clear last night when former State Committeeman Jon Woodard was denied re-election to resume his service as one of the two St. Johns County committee representatives to the Republican Party of Florida.

Woodard, who has been serving as an alternate, stepped down as State Committeeman before the 2010 elections to allow St. Augustine Senator John Thrasher to move into a position to be elected Chairman of Florida’s Republican Party.

Thrasher repaid the loyalty Woodard showed to the Party by attending last night’s election and introducing Woodard’s nomination from the floor. Thrasher spoke in certain terms of his support for Woodard and the value of his loyalty last year. The nomination was seconded by local county commissioner Mark P. Miner; who told the attendees how Woodard had inspired him as they served together in the St. Johns County Young Republicans.

But, Woodard had two challengers — both known for their service to the party and local Republican clubs; Randy Covington and Steve Kira.

Covington, who won the election, was nominated by precinct committeewoman Theresa Henry. His nomination was seconded by Mike Kuhne. Both spoke of Covington, who has been a bee in the bonnet of some St. Johns County elected officials, describing him as having “a fire in the belly” for the job that lies ahead.

Covington has served on the Republican Executive Committee as its Corresponding Secretary and as an officer in the Republican Club of Northwest St. Johns County. He did not mince words — adding some tension to the meeting when he made accusations about methods used by Woodard during his term in office; accusations which Woodard denied.

Sean Mulhall, First Vice Chairman of the Republican Executive Committee, nominated Steve Kira; who, since moving to Ponte Vedra Beach from Brooklyn, has been very active in the party, serving as an officer and one-time Committeeman. His nomination was seconded by David Greer.

When none of the three candidates pulled 50 percent of the ballots, a runoff was declared between Woodard and Covington. Kira spoke to the voting party members before the runoff and asked those who had voted for him to support Randy Covington — a clear signal of his dissatisfaction with Woodard’s performance in office.

In the end, Covington garnered 35 of the votes cast while Woodard only received 19 of the fifty-four ballots counted.

At next month’s meeting, a lottery will be held to select from about 70 applicants to attend as delegates to the President 5 convention being held in Orlando.

Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News staff photographer

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