Good Turnout at Lantana Library Candidate Forum

We had a successful meeting last night in the Lantana Library. If we didn’t exceed the room capacity, we did run out of chairs :-). The agenda began with a prayer (Frank Doninno), the pledge (Ed Fulop), and the National Anthem (Christine Kenney), followed by an inspirational talk by Shannon. We then heard from Fred about the 912 candidate tools and the importance of getting involved in the primaries as well as a description of the Taxpayer Action Board (TAB – pbctab.org. ) of which South Florida 912 is a member. Roberto gave us the status on the 8/28 and 9/12 bus trips to DC, and Philipp Blumel described what’s going on with the term limit fight in West Palm Beach to let Lois Frankel follow in the footsteps of Mayor Bloomberg of New York.

After a short break, the main event began, with a face off between incumbent County Commissioner Jess Santamaria and Democrat primary challenger Michael Jackson. This race is interesting because Mr. Jackson, a smart, well thought of community leader worked for Jess for 3 years for the experience, with the understanding that Mr. Santamaria did not intend to run for re-election. Despite the fact that they are primary rivals, both men appear to still admire and respect each other. If you attended the event, post a comment below and tell us who you thought was the winner of the exchange.

Next up were the contenders for Florida House district 85, Tami Donnally and D.J. Derenzo. Tami is well known at 912 events, having been with us from the beginning, and this was the first time some in the audience had a chance to see and hear DJ. For two contenders in a Republican primary, it is quite striking how much their positions on issues differ. Again – if you attended the event, let us hear from you who won this exchange.

The remainder of the meeting was an opportunity for candidates in other races to introduce themselves and we had a collection of regulars as well as some new faces this time.

Starting with Steven Rosenblum (FH 89), we heard from Jaimie Goodman (Ckt Court Judge group 33), Lloyd Comiter (County Court Judge group 7), Joe Budd (CD 19, R), Sherry Lee (CC district 2, R), Albert Key (FH 84, R), Andy Schaller (CC district 6, NPA), Vince Goodman (CC district 7, R), and Alison Rampersad (FH 90, R). David Donnally spoke for Mike Lameyer (FS 27, R) who sent his regrets, and Ed Lynch spoke for Bill McCollum (Gov, R).

In addition to the candidates present, we were honored to have PBC Clerk and Comptroller Sharon Bock in the audience.


6 Responses to “Good Turnout at Lantana Library Candidate Forum”
  1. Lee says:

    I wish we were able to hear more from the candidates for judge seats and ask them questions. Activist judges have taken over the benches around the country. Any sitting judge has the potential to be nominated by governors and presidents to higher courts. It is very difficult to find information on judges. It would be nice to have the opportunity to question them on their beliefs toward the Constitution, separation of government, and the role of the 3 branches of government.

    • EdFulop EdFulop says:

      Thanks for your feedback. Both judges only confirmed their attendance the very day of the meeting. As it was, we ended exactly on time, but I too wish we could have questioned them a little more. I spoke to both briefly after we cleaned everything up, and both seemed very open to the idea of being contacted by voters.
      I encourage you to get the information you seek directly from the source. Here are their campaign sites:



      Both pages have “Contact Us ” sections.

  2. StevenR SteveR says:

    When Michael Jackson revealed that Commissioner Santamaria had broken his promise not to run for reelection I think he changed a lot of minds in that primary. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mr. Jackson comes out on top in that race.

    • jd8501 says:

      Jess Santamaria has proven himself to be honest and intelligent through his work on the commission. He answered Michael Jackson’s relevation logically by stating that his constituents have influenced him to run for re-election even though he had mentioned that his intentions were almost certainly not to. Mr. jackson’s relevation proved neither him being a better candidate than Mr. Santamaria nor a breach of honesty on the commissioner’s part. My vote will stay with Jess Santamaria based on his actual performance and not campaign rhetoric.

      • StevenR SteveR says:

        Commissioner Santamaria certainly has every right to run again if he wants to. I thought he indicated that he was running again because of everything that was going on in the county not because of his constituents asking him to.
        Frankly I live in District 2 and will be voting for Sherry Lee, so I don’t have a dog in the District 6 hunt.

  3. It was well attended. The crowd was very excited and eager to hear the candidates. I too would like to hear more from the judge candidates. Jaimie Goodman (Ckt Court Judge group 33), Lloyd Comiter (County Court Judge group 7), both seemed like nice men, however we don’t know much about them. This is an area I just spoke to another friend about that, me personally really did not do the research I should have. I know this now. I will be speaking personally to the judge candidates again and trying to research their records. Please share with all of us what you may find also. BTW a number of people were asking about the Navy “got principles” shirts they are on order and should be in by the 16th meeting at the Original Pancake house. ($10) Tell me who you think won in the two question and answer sessions?

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