Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday December 18th 2018

Archives

Inweekly Staff Endorsements

Florida

U.S. Senate: Marco Rubio
Rubio represents the next generation of the Republican Party. He has a record of getting things done for our state. He worked with our Rep. Jeff Miller on the VA Accountability Act. He passed the Girls Count Act to take on human trafficking, and the Foreign Aid Transparency Act, which shows where our money’s being spent and was in getting funding to fight the Zika virus. His opponent, Patrick Murphy, has had one piece of legislation passed during his four years in Congress.

Congress, District 1: Toss Up
The Inweekly staff couldn’t agree on this race. Republican Matt Gaetz has been a highly effective lawmaker in the Florida Legislature. He leaves the Florida House with an impressive list of accomplishments. He could be a very effective Congressman. Democrat Steven Specht has impressed us with his hard work and moderate platform. His argument that Northwest Florida should be a represented by a veteran is very persuasive.

State Senate, District 1: Doug Broxson
Broxson survived a tough Republican primary battle and showed, yet again, that he isn’t afraid to fight for what he believes. We watched him challenge the BP claims process and stand up to House leaders on the issues he knew were important to Northwest Florida. He will be an effective state senator.

Florida House, District 1: Clay Ingram
If re-elected, Ingram will be the senior member of our House delegation. He successfully delivered last year on several key local initiatives and provided steady leadership in Tallahassee. We need him representing us.

Florida House, District 2: Frank White
White has built his campaign on issues dear to Northwest Florida: ensure BP settlement funds are spent to benefit our areas; empower local businesses to grow our economy and grow jobs; lower taxes for middle-class families; and support our veterans and military. He will be a rising star in the Florida House.

Escambia County

Tax Collector: Scott Lunsford
This was a tough decision. We like Democrat Deb Moore and believe she should hold an elected office. However, Lunsford has the technical knowledge about how the tax collector’s office works. He has put his time in the office and knows its ins and outs.

Sheriff: David Morgan
The Good Old Boys lost control of Escambia Sheriff’s Office in 2008 and have resented Morgan ever since. Well, they are going to be disappointed yet again on November 8. Escambia County is safe, and the voters trust Morgan to run an honest, straightforward law enforcement agency.

Superintendent of Schools: Claudia Williams
When you are in a hole, the first step to getting out of it is to stop digging. Malcolm Thomas has had two terms to turn around the Escambia County School District and failed. His expensive “innovations” rarely have had a lasting effect. His few accomplishments are “smoke & mirrors.”

County Commission, District 1: Jeff Bergosh
The former school board member is somewhat a wild card, which isn’t necessarily bad. He knows his district and will represent it well.

County Commission, District 3: Lumon May
May has been a transformative commissioner. Only the third African-American to represent District 3, he has reached out to all segments of his district and increased the level of service to his constituents. He hasn’t been afraid to take unpopular stands and has been a catalyst for positive changes in county government.

ECUA, District 1: Vicki Campbell
We endorsed Campbell in the GOP primary and believe she deserves another term. She has been a champion for recycling since she was elected. ECUA launched its state-of-the-art compost operation and built its recycling center under her watch.

ECUA, District 3: Benell English
The incumbent, Elvin McCorvey, has played games with his residency to qualify for office. He repeatedly told people that he wouldn’t seek another term, but jumped into the race weeks before the qualifying deadline. It’s time to pass the baton.

ECUA, District 5: Larry Walker
We wish we had a better choice than Walker, another long-time board member. He opposed moving the Main Street Sewage Treatment plant for years but took credit for the relocation after it happened. He drug his feet on recycling. Unfortunately, he has no viable opposition.

City of Pensacola

Pensacola’s city government is broken. With all the growth and expansion in the area, City Hall has been more of a hindrance than an ally. Meanwhile, the Pensacola City Council gave itself raises with few accomplishments to show this year. Appeals for cooperation and professionalism have gone unheeded. Therefore, the way for the Pensacola residents to change its government is at the polls. Unfortunately, only two council seats are contested, but they are a start.

City Council, District 1: C.J. Lewis
Lewis is a retired Marine Corps colonel, who has been a frequent critic of city government. He is a graduate of the Pensacola Neighborhood Leadership Academy, Escambia County Citizens’ Academy, Escambia County Sheriff’s Office Citizens’ Law Enforcement Academy, and Pensacola Citizens’ Police Academy. He is an active member of Scenic Heights Neighborhood Association.

City Council, District 7: Anny Shepard
Shepard has been very active in neighborhood associations. She founded the Westside Garden District Neighborhood Association and was the treasurer of the Community Neighborhood Association Presidents of Pensacola, 2013-2014. She has served on the Westside Redevelopment Board for the past three years.

Amendments

Amendment 1-Solar Energy:  No
This misleading amendment backed by Gulf Power and other Florida utilities aims to undermine the growth of solar energy in the state and preserve their monopoly on the sale of power to Floridians.

Amendment 2-Medical Marijuana: Yes
The time has come to decriminalize marijuana and allow its use to relieve the symptoms of people afflicted with specific diseases and conditions, such as cancer, epilepsy, AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.

Amendment 3-Tax Exemption for Disabled First Responders: Yes
The Florida Legislature put this amendment on the ballot extend a property tax exemption to first responders who are “totally and permanently disabled” from injuries they received in the line of duty. First responders are defined under existing law as police and correctional officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and paramedics.

Amendment 5-Homestead Exemption for Low-Income Seniors: Yes
This amendment ensures that low-income seniors who qualify for a city- or county-approved property tax exemption do not lose that exemption if the value of their home exceeds the $250,000 limit.

Note: There is no Amendment 4.