St Johns County Sheriff David Shoar is pretty comfortable this morning after turning in a lead over his Republican Party opponent, Debra Maynard, garnering 85% of the votes cast. But he’s not out of the woods yet.
Shoar still faces opposition from two more opponents in the General Election on November 8th; Linda Marie Doran and Andrew H. Tallman will each be challenging Shoar’s law enforcement and political empire, even though neither one of their names will appear on the ballot.
The reason is that Doran and Tallman filed as write-in candidates during the last hours of qualifying week.
The injection of a “strawman” into a race, someone who has no intention of actually running for political office and usually not qualified to even hold the office, as in this case, saves the favored candidate from the cost of having to advertise to members of the opposing party. Not that Shoar was short on cash, he took a whopping $249,575.00 in campaign donations from big money developers, political action committees, and other special interests, mostly located in Jacksonville and outside the county — so, what’s a few thousand extra postcards cost, right?
Of course Historic City News readers know what closing yesterday’s primary election was really all about. The leading Republican candidate wanted to deprive his opponent of receiving the benefit of all those non-Republican votes. The closed Republican Primary where only Republican voters could vote, prevented more than 70,000 registered Democrats, minor party affiliates, and those registered as independent or without any political party affiliation from voting for their next sheriff.
Is it legal? Yes. Is it honorable and fair? No.
And Shoar’s not the only one who profited by these shenanigan’s, engineered by political insiders from the Republican Party.
After capturing more than 59% of the Republican vote, St Johns County Clerk of Court, Hunter Conrad has to face write-in candidate Patrick Dewayne Mency on November 8th.
Whoever survives tomorrow’s recount for the open county commission seat between Jerry Cameron and Paul Waldron, who are only separated by nine Republican votes, with Waldron ahead, has to face write-in candidate Sheamus John McNeeley in the General Election.
Henry Dean with 56% of the Republican vote, defeated Dottie Acosta who actually put on a campaign for election; but, he still has to get by Alfred B. Pittman who didn’t have to pay $1 in fees, gather a single voter petition, or plant the first campaign sign to silence about 40% of the county’s registered voters.
So remember those five fine upstanding citizens who took their civic responsibility seriously and offered themselves for public office and consider writing in the names Doran or Tallman, Mency, McNeeley and Pittman when you get to vote in November.
I think it would serve everyone involved a lot of good if their favored candidate lost their election to a write-in candidate; although it would be the first time in 100-years of available voting records that it would have happened in St Johns County.