Inglis political forum draws crowd

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By Lou Elliott Jones, Editor

It was standing room only and some were standing outside the door when 24 candidates and their representatives turned out for a forum with one of the strictest speaking limits in the county. 

The gathering hosted by the Inglis Recreation Advisory Board Activities Committee called for candidates to have only one minute to speak at the podium and that was strictly enforced by two timekeepers and the moderator.

While at least one candidate noted that one minute was too short, he was reminded that there was the “meet and greet” portion to come where candidates got to lobby for votes with individuals at tables lining the room like an election flea market after the speeches.

This was the last big political forum before Tuesday's party primary elections.

Despite the limit  the candidates found the time to get in important points:


County Commissioner, District 1

The candidates are Republicans , except Jamie Griffin who is a Democrat. It will be decided in November.

John Meeks: This is the most important growth area in Levy County. 

Jamie Griffin: Having the Seabreeze restaurant in Cedar Key I learned about the concerns of coastal communities like this. 

Jason Kennedy: Don't you think it's important that I have been well traveled. I've seen what works and I've seen what doesn't work. … While you are elected in a district...I think you represent the whole county.


County Commission. District 3

All candidates are Republicans, except Al Macri who is a Democrat. It will be decided in November.

Joseph “Joe” Cino: With unemployment in the county at 9.7 percent Commissioner Mike Joyner wants to raise the sales tax. …. I would revisit the Tarmac mine (decision granting a permit).

Darryl Diamond: Being on the planning board in Inglis I have a track record of bringing in jobs in here. I want to do that for the county.

Al Macri: I have been in Levy County since 1971 and I have served on the value adjustment board. 

Robert Wells for Michael Joyner: I have known him for 40 years. He is a down to earth guy. Mike Joyner cannotwint he election and put the hammer down on the sales tax. It's got to be voted on.



All the candidates are Republicans, except Lee Sullivan who has no party affiliation. It will be decided in November.

Noel Desmond : The department is permeated with political nepotism. … The department will be cleansed.

Lee Sullivan: The office of sheriff should be nonpartisan... I will be the sheriff of all the people.

Bobby McCallus: The sheriff's race has reached an all-time low with inferences … and outright lies. 

Evan Sullivan: Last year I cut $1.2 million out of the budget and I returned $80,000 to the county. I am a fiscal conservative.


School Superintendent

Two candidates, one is Republican, the other Democrat and the race will be decided in November.

Jeff Edison spoke for Bob Hastings: I taught here in Yankeetown for three years ... I have served under four superintendents … and I have two children in schools. 

Cindy Roach: As the negotiator on teacher contracts … over the past 10 years I have developed an acute knowledge of the budget. 


School Board, District 2

This race is nonpartisan and open to all voters. 

Tanya Townsend for Avery Baker: He will be able to deal with the challenges because of his business experience. .. Because he owns his business he has the flexibility needed to work on your behalf.

Chris Cowart: My daughter Grace is 10 years old and she deserves a voice on the school board. I am involved and invested.

Billy Hinote: If you called somebody and needed an answer you probably wouldn't get it. I will work for you.

Sandra Worthington Hodge: I will be visible and I will be available.

Kyle Quincey: I'm vice president of Central Florida Electric Cooperative and Iknow about creating a budget and managing and keeping the lights on.

Marissa DeHaven: I know the dynamics small schools face … I will be a school board member to make your voice heard. 


County Court Judge

This is a nonpartisan race. Everyone can vote and it will be decided on Aug. 14.

Cyndee Munkittrick: U will not hear him mention civil law experience. I have 16 years in civil law cases. ... Do you want someone that is training on the job?


Supervisor of Elections

Both candidates are Republicans so the election will be decided on Tuesday. The race is open to all voters.

Tammy Jones: I have experience I have worked in the supervisor's office for 18 years... I have experience in on demand voting. 

Brooke Ward: I am a strong individual fiscal conservative … and a proven leader. Vote for a new era in the Levy County Supervisor of Elections office.


County Clerk

One candidate is Republican and one is a Democrat. This race will be on the November ballot.

Danny Shipp: Doing the job of clerk has given me a new respect for the office. 

Wilbur Dean: I want to be the watchdog. … When have you had anyone bark about the excess spending in Levy County?