Editorial: Are you willing to let dirty politics choose the next sheriff?

Michael Gold, Editor

I look back on 40-years of Republican Party affiliation, long before the Party was popular in northeast Florida, and wonder what the folks who taught me what it meant to be self-sufficient, accountable, and to strive to be a good citizen, would have to say about the politicians who hold themselves out to be “Republicans” in today’s world.

As a native Floridian, I have watched a firmly rooted “Blue” county turn “Red”.  I have seen, from front row seats, how “politics makes strange bedfellows”.  I always considered that to be the art of compromise, which is a good thing.  At least, that is what my mentors would have wanted me to believe.

What I never expected from our community’s leaders, or, those who sought election to a position in local government, was how much they were willing to compromise to get themselves elected.  If an office, like sheriff, paid a $25,000 annual salary, would you be self-sufficient enough (or even able) to raise $20,000 or $30,000 to finance your campaign? 

Would you be accountable to the citizens, or to those who donated to your campaign?  If elected, would you be transparent to the media and responsive to the public about how you have conducted your official and personal life?

If those questions seem too intrusive, how far are you willing to compromise to deliver an answer that you or your consultant believes will get you elected, or reelected?  Are you willing to play dirty politics, for the sake of those who gave a lot of money to your campaign — especially if they have something to hide or gain?

Instead of $20k or $30k if those figures were actually $200,000 or $300,000, how would that effect your answer?

I will be watching closely as will our Associate Editor, Don Louis.  We have already witnessed an unconscionable trick, pulled on the last day of qualifying, that prevented 49,847 registered Democrats and 43,672 independent or registered voters without party affiliation, a total of 93,519 St Johns County voters who, if they do nothing, will not be allowed to cast their vote in the August 18th Primary Election that will decide our next sheriff.

ATTENTION: You must act before Saturday, July 20, 2020, to legally regain your right to participate in the selection of our next sheriff.  You can make a new voter registration, indicating that you would like to be registered as a Republican.  Additionally, you have one last chance to change your party affiliation to REPUBLICAN, but your request must be delivered to the St Johns County Supervisor before Saturday, July 20, 2020.