Let me waste no time in conveying the most important part of this message.
Congratulations to Scott Jamison for winning the special election for the remaining seven months of High Springs city commissioner seat #5. You did a great job and will serve the people well.
With that out of the way, let’s move into an analysis of exactly what yesterday’s election means for our quaint little town and exactly how it happened.
Jamison enjoyed a comfortable win — 59% to Ann Carter’s 41% — in an unusually timed Spring special election, with, perhaps the greatest victory, a voter turnout on par with the city’s usual November elections.
Not to belittle the process, but that’s a bit surprising considering the contest was for a mere seven months remaining on a commission seat having virtually no impact on the stronghold majority that is Mayor Dean Davis, Vice-Mayor Bob Barnas, and Commissioner Linda Gestrin.
Those factors considered, one would have predicted lackluster turnout numbers due to a perceived hopeless electorate.
But the opposite occurred, and we find ourselves asking why.
The answer is simple, really. Carter was openly endorsed by the same majority responsible for the insane antics that High Springs has become famous for in recent times. Whether it was financial support or even sitting commissioners holding campaign signs, Carter received the obvious blessing from the current leaders, and by her own words admitted she would govern in the same manner.
And it was obvious the same small group supporting the current nonsense was letting the community know that Carter was their anointed candidate — misleading endorsements by self-appointed community leaders such as Billye Dowdy, or even the usual attack-dogs like Robyn Rush spreading lies about Jamison’s candidacy.
Think I’m wrong? Take a look at the facts for yourself.
A special city election that doesn’t swing majority control, featuring two publicly unknown candidates with very little information about their platforms, spawns an unexpected high turnout, with the public rejecting the status quo candidate.
Not to belittle Mr. Jamison, because I believe he is an honest, family oriented man who will serve his city well, but I believe yesterday’s election has more to do with the voters telling the current commission their methods will not be tolerated than anything else.
It’s a rebuke of sorts and Jamison just happens to be the messenger sent to deliver it.
And if the message isn’t received this time, you can bet the public will be sending a few more messengers come November.
Former elected official Eric May provides readers a view on government they rarely get: one from the inside. Eric currently works for a political consulting firm handling all forms of political media and communications. He is married to his beautiful wife Jenna, who both enjoy serving actively in their church and community.
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