In addition to a three-way Republican Primary for the District 5 seat on the St Johns County Commission, Randy Brunson has announced to Historic City News that he will run in the General Election for that seat; without party affiliation.
Brunson accompanied by his wife, Carol, went to the Supervisor of Elections office together to officially file his paperwork. Brunson is a retired commercial banker and, through his company, Brunson Enterprises, he operates a thrift store, a U-HAUL dealership and, for the past 11 years, has been a real estate broker; licensed by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
In an endorsement previously published in Historic City News, local businessman Gary McMahon wrote, “The amount of work and hours that he has volunteered to a wide variety of organizations would make any Boy Scout envious.”
Brunson is active in the St Johns County Chamber of Commerce and has been a Chamber Ambassador for many years. He is an active Rotarian and supports a host of charitable and non-profit organizations. He is a member of the Elks Lodge 829 in St Augustine.
Brunson was elected and served a four-year term on the St. Johns County Airport Authority. Brunson is credited with conservative leadership that resulted in the Airport Authority becoming a self-sufficient taxing district; voluntarily removing itself from the tax rolls. “While our current commissioners continue to vote for millage rate increases, I’m the only candidate in this race who has actually proven to be able to reduce or eliminate a St Johns County tax,” Brunson told Historic City News reporters.
In St Augustine and St Johns County, Brunson has worked with the Builders Council and St Johns Housing Partnership to construct simple, “Habitat for Humanity” style homes for low-income residents.
Brunson’s entry into the race that may unseat Democrat-turned-Republican Joseph (Ken) Bryan has the effect of closing the August Primary Election to registered Republican voters, only. This means that Bryan, who faces Republican candidates Alan Kelso and Rachael Bennett, will have to find majority support from Republican voters — many of whom feel that Bryan is merely a “Republican of convenience”; sometimes referred to as a “RINO”, meaning a “Republican In Name Only”.
Given two long-time Republican choices, Bryan will have more difficulty finding Republican support; which he will need because the Democrats cannot vote in the Republican Primary.
In the November General Election, Brunson will appear on the ballot against whoever survives the Republican Primary. They will have to win twice, but, in the General Election, all 100,000+ registered St Johns County voters will be able to cast a ballot.
Photo credits: © 2012 Historic City News staff photographer