MICK’S PICKS- THE PRIMARY: How I am voting (or would) in the races we covered
District 50 (R)
George Collins- had a good interview on the show. The incumbent was unable to attend and could not make opportunities provided after the originally scheduled date. I was not happy with the incumbent’s position on school security and fiscally Collins seems more aligned with my point of view.
District 51 (R)
Tyler Sirois- has had experience as a legislative aide in the House and as an administrator in two county government offices, The Supervisor of Elections and State Attorney. His knowledge of the issues and the process are far superior to that of his opponent who could not answer even simple issues questions in the BML interview. Even though attacked with falsehoods by his opponent, Sirois maintained the high ground and was solid on understanding the issues in play and the roll of a House member.
District 52 (R)
Matt Nye- Nye, a known quantity in Tea Party and Liberty Caucus circles, had his best interview of his political career on BML. His presentation was solid and his vision much stronger than that of his incumbent opponent. This will be a tough climb for Nye, but workers from his national connections are a previously unplayed card in this game that makes an unexpected difference.
District 53 (D)
Neither candidate chose to appear for our interviews. I have no way to evaluate their positions or viability for office.
District 2 (R)
Chuck Nelson- the former two term commissioner is trying to return to the board and is the best choice in the primary. His knowledge of county operations and finance are far superior to those of his opponent. While is opponent may get there eventually, he isn’t there now.
District 2 (D)
No recommendation- While Jack Smink made our interview, it was virtually devoid of information. His answers were surface level at best and full of his newfound Democratic Party’s “sustainability” talking points that offer lots of philosophy and no substance.
District 4 (R)
Curt Smith- This incumbent faces a former commissioner who is carpet bagging to try and return to the commission. In 4 years Smith has accomplished more than his opponent did in her 8 years on the board. More roads are being paved than previously, lagoon issues are being addressed and the complicated world of the county budget is addressed with a service mindset. No, I don’t like the tax (fee) hikes Curt supported and those are legitimate talking points in the election, but his opponent and her camp have financed and supported campaign mailers that flat out lie about Smith and his record. THAT tells me all I need to know about whose character is stronger for Brevard County.
Misty Belford- Misty has served one term and is seeking the second. She has earned it. This has not been an easy term on the board with school safety taking priority over the last year. While Belford and I disagree on some elements of that, she is of much clearer mind than her school teacher opponent. There is, as Belford noted in her interview, a rather large learning curve for the board job. The financing is complicated and the issues complex.
Charles Parker- Parker is clearly prepared well for this job. His interview was confident and mostly reasonable. My only concern is his being a teacher and I don’t like having someone that close to the classroom making decision on teacher salary and policy. In a contract dispute there should be two sides to the negotiating table. That said, he is right on school safety issues and has a clear understanding of the issues facing our schools. No other candidate in the race matches his ability here.
Katye Campbell- Katye has demonstrated knowledge and experiences other candidates in this and previous races for this seat have been unable to show. She is right on protecting our kids and has a solid foundation for her decisions. At the very least the incumbent deserves a run off with a viable opponent and Campbell has earned that shot.
We did not schedule time for judicial or statewide races in the primary election period. I will not make recommendations in the judicial races. The statewide races are noted below.
Rick Scott- While there is another candidate on the Republican ballot, the governor is the only candidate with a legitimate chance at unseating Bill Nelson. In fact, the race is already positioned as Scott v Nelson, as it should be.
Ron DeSantis- DeSantis and Putnam are the two prominent candidates here. Putnam continues a lying campaign against the now front running US Representative who overtook the AG Commissioner with a big boost from President Trump. DeSantis has served Florida well in congress and is running a campaign with a positive message. Having the president’s support can’t be bad for Florida and don’t discount that boost in the general that is so misread by the press and establishment Republicans.
Ashley Moody- is the only candidate with actual valid experience for this job. Her opponent initially didn’t even tell us the office he sought in his campaign ads. His subsequent ads only serve to attack Moody while offering no substance or experience of his own. His spinning of her roles as prosecutor and judge are beneath the dignity of the office he seeks. They are misleading and fail to take into account the requirements and discretion of the positions.
COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE
Baxter Troutman- In researching these candidates I found Troutman to be cut from other than the typical Florida politician cloth. I liked that his stated stances. While I would evaluate his chances a slim, I see him as a choice I would like to see in Tallahassee.