Update: 11/2/16: After a lot of conversations about Jill Stein I’d like to correct the record. Stein believes in vaccines and has a much more nuanced critique of the health effects of Wi-Fi. That said I still think she’s not speaking out against these and other conspiracy theories because she doesn’t want to lose their votes. This is dangerous but different than the way I presented her below.
Vote by mail ballots were sent out on Wednesday (10/5) and should be in voters hand any day. You can request or track your ballot here.
You can skip the reasoning/background and see my recommendations here. Whatever you do, make sure you vote. You can vote early from October 24th to November 5th from 9-6PM at:
- Supervisor of Elections Office – 515 N Main Street, Gainesville, FL 32601
- Millhopper Branch Library – 3145 NW 43rd Street, Gainesville, FL 32606
- Tower Road Branch Library – 3020 SW 75th Street, Gainesville, FL 32608
You can also find your voting location here if you want to vote on election day (Nov 8th).
Vote for Clinton. She’s a flawed, center/center-right candidate, but you should vote for her. Her politics don’t line up with mine but she has my vote because Trump and his brand of politics need to be soundly defeated. If you’re considering a third party candidate please know that Johnson is a far-right ass-hat that can’t name one foreign leader and Jill Stein is an anti-vaxer that thinks wi-fi causes disease. And if you’re considering voting for Trump… how did you find this blog?
Vote Patrick Murphy. He’s another center-right democrat (can we please find a progressive to run for office) who has very little chance of winning. His crowing achievement is that he’s not Marco Rubio.
Vote for Ken McGurn. This is a very tough one for me. Ken McGurn is yet another center-right democrat with a problematic history. Tom Wells (NPA) has better politics but no chance of winning. None. Don’t tell me this year is somehow made of magic and Wells can win, because he can’t. I don’t fault people for voting for Wells over McGurn. I blame McGurn’s politics and his history of calling homeless people crooks, criminals, and rapist (sound like Trump much?). My recommendation is to vote for McGurn to defeat the far-right Tea Party joke that is Ted Yoho but tell him you have a problem with how he talks about homeless people.
Vote for Rod Smith. This might be the most important race on the ticket as it’ll have major ramifications for state politics for years to come. Smith is a centrist Democrat with a problematic history. Hell, they made a documentary about one of them but he’s good on many other issues. He’s also not Keith Perry who famously tried to take away local wage theft ordinances while his business was being accused of wage theft. Perry also recently slapped a man and there’s a video of it.
Vote for Jerry Bullard. If you live in High Springs you’ll have a chance to vote for Bullard. His wife is a union teacher and he fully supports public education. His opponent, Elizabeth Porter, is a rising star in the Republican Party. If Bullard can pull off an upset it’ll be a major blow to the Republican bench.
Florida Representative – 21
Vote for Marihelen Wheeler. This is the first true progressive on your ballot. She’s a retired union school teacher, environmentalist, immigration rights activist, folksy as hell, and an all around great person. Vote for her. Give her money. Volunteer your time with her. If she gets elected she’ll do amazing things for working people.
Clerk of the Court
Write in Sam Collins. J.K Irby is a good guy that will undoubtedly be elected but the circumstances surrounding his father’s retirement are shady and needsto be called out. A strong write in turnout will show that the actions leading to J.K Irby being the only name on the ballot didn’t go unnoticed.
Saddie Darnell has terrible politics. She lead the state wide charge against medical marijuana and her constant fighting with the County Commission is tiresome. Jake Jacobs is a Republican. If you can stomach voting for a Republican, go for it. If you can’t and can’t vote for Darnell – write in Pat Fitzpatrick. (Note: This is a insider joke. You can’t actually vote for a write in)
Write in candidates names won’t appear on the ballot but you can still vote for them. They are there due to a loophole in the primary law which allowed them to close out the recent August primary. It’s very unlikely that a Republican can be elected to the Alachua County Commission so most of them threw their support behind conservative Democrats. If the primary was open then the Republicans would have voted for these conservative Democrats and they would have won. The write-in candidates made sure that only Democrats voted in the primary election spoiling their plans and protecting the integrity of a Democratic primary.
While this worked well for progressives in Alachua County it also worked well for conservatives in Republican led counties. In Jacksonville a campaign manager closed out the primary of the much despised State Attorney Angela Corey. She ended up losing but the actions of her campaign manager locked out progressive voices and people of color who had major issues with her. In the outlying counties the far-right used this tactic to ensure that only the most reactionary are elected to office.
Write them in as a protest to the broken closed primary system if you want, I’ve considered it. I strongly supported Byery and Hutch in their primaries and will be voting for them again. I don’t know any of them or their reasons for running but Chloe seems to have great politics.
Vote Mike Byerly for County Commission 1.
Vote Robert “Hutch” Hutchinson for County Commission 3.
Write in Chloe Michelle Goldbach for County Commission 5.
Justice of the Supreme Court and District Court of Appeals:
Vote YES to retain all Judges. I don’t think judges should be able to be recalled. It’s bad for the justice system and democracy. Here’s a quick read on the topic.
Amendments and Questions:
Vote NO on Constitutional Amendment 1 – the so called solar amendment is backed by the utility companies and would hamper individuals from putting up panels (link).
Vote YES on Constitutional Amendment 2 – this medical marijuana amendment isn’t perfect, but it’s a step in the right direction. It’ll allow people with certain, really debilitating illnesses, to use marijuana legally.
Vote YES on Constitutional Amendment 3 – this amendment would exempt first respondents (police officers and firefighters) who are permanently disabled in the line of duty from ad valorem taxes.
Vote YES on Constitutional Amendment 5 – extends the homestead tax break to poor senior citizens. Poor elderly people in the state need this relief.
Vote YES on Alachua County Question 1 – the one mil for schools tax is really important for Alachua County. This tax goes to pay for art and music teachers, technology purchases, and nurses at every school. If you think kids, especially those who are poor and/or of color, should get a well rounded education then you should vote for this.
Vote YES on Alachua County Question 2 – The “Wild Places Public Spaces” tax goes to purchases conservation land and to build parks. This tax has gone to make Alachua County the unique place of culture and nature that I love.
One thought on “2016 GENERAL ELECTIONS GUIDE – Alachua County”
I sent in my absentee ballot last week and voted as above. Another reason to keep the judges in office is to prevent Scott from appointing his.