BREEDEN & BLAKE WIN!
Political newcomers Wendy Breeden and Josh Blake shook Lake County’s political world as they ousted their long-term career political rivals. In the race for the Lake County Commission District 5 seat Josh Blake defeated Welton Cadwell by 5,308 votes (or 19 points) — that is a landslide. Wendy Breeden defeated controversial Lake County Commissioner District 3 Jimmy Conner by 1,475 votes (or almost 5 points). Incumbent Lake County Commissioner District 1 Tim Sullivan disposed of South Lake challengers Tim Loucks and Mike Levine with 43.01% of the votes (or by 13 points).
What are the lessons learned from this election?
First, don’t put government before We the People. Raising property taxes to give county employees a raise is something taxpayers will not tolerate. Cutting crooked garbage deals, which cost taxpayers more while cutting their services is a dumb idea (stinky trash in the garage reminds them of this daily). Having impact fees is one thing, but having the highest in the state of Florida—come on, don’t be stupid. When Habitat for Humanity leaves your county because impact fees are too high then you have crossed the line.
Second, We the People aren’t stupid. When you try to create some fraudulent issue about sand mines that doesn’t exist, people know better. The reason why Lake County will probably wind up having sand mines is simple—over the last couple of years, Conner and Cadwell voted three times to authorize sand mines in South Lake County. In addition, Lake County will probably lose the pending lawsuit to CEMEX because you cannot do selective enforcement of zoning. This election was never about sand mines; rather, it was about Conner and Cadwell raising taxes.
Finally, in this economy where every job matters, how dumb was it for Conner to attack local companies with fraudulent accusations? Conner’s flailing attacks were baseless, and he riled up an entire industry and group of voters who knew better. Conner’s actions have set the business climate of Lake County back a decade.
Conner’s Corrupt Campaign
Conner ran one of the most corrupt campaigns in the history of Lake County. While he was quick to point out money flowing to other Political Action Committees, he was gathering money from a consortium of high-dollar contributors out of Orange County that want to control the development in the Wellness Way and Wekiva Way areas. Conner was literally selling Lake County to the highest bidder.
He was also petty in his corruptness. A couple of days before the election he put out hundreds of red signs that stated, “Wendy Breeden is a Liberal.” These red signs were placed in front and back of Breeden’s regular campaign signs. In addition, he hired a group of out of work millennials to troll other campaign social media sites to say disparaging words about Breeden. Plus he slandered every Hispanic citizen in Lake County by continuously stating that CEMEX is a Mexican company in an effort to “dog whistle” racism. Telling the truth was not a strong part of Conner’s campaign.
Lake County Commissioner District 2 Sean Parks remains the only Commissioner to have voted for the 14% property increase, the crooked garbage deal, and the impact fee increase to the highest in the state of Florida. Don’t forget, Parks cast all of these votes after he ran unopposed in 2014. Parks claimed to be a conservative Republican but then voted like a liberal Democrat. Many Lake County voters feel that Parks double-crossed them. We suspect that Sean Parks along with others will have a real political challenger in a couple of years.
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