It’s qualifying day and I know you’re thrilled, as am I. By noon today we’ll have the full ballot lineup, and there are always a few surprises here and there.
Former Commissioner John Thrumston is a case in point. He had been considering the County Commission District 4 race but instead surprised us all Thursday with a campaign for School Board District 3, now held by Doug Dodd.
I didn’t get a chance to talk with Thrumston about his game plan in going against a fairly popular incumbent for school board.
This isn’t one of those blocking-the-vote things either. Dodd would have been automatically elected if unopposed. Because the school board is nonpartisan, everyone votes in the primary regardless of party affiliation, or none at all.
So what Thrumston does is give us an additional race in which to vote, and that’s never a bad thing. I’ve known John quite a few years and he always brings ideas to the table; whether those ideas make sense or not is for voters to decide.
Still question marks on some of the local races heading into the noon deadline. I haven’t heard a peep from Scott Adams in recent weeks, so I don’t know if he’s going to jump into that Commission District 4 race or not.
The three District 4 candidates — Rebecca Bays, John Murphy and Winn Webb — seem pretty set in their campaigns and are lining up supporters. The biggest impact Adams would have is pushing Bays off top ballot billing because candidates are listed in alphabetical order.
On the other hand, this is Scott Adams we’re talking about so all rules of normalcy go out the window. When he was in office, I used to tell folks that long-range planning for Commissioner Adams was deciding at 2 p.m. what’s for dinner.
All that said, what’s really on your mind is the photo of me interviewing Murphy on video. C’mon, I know you’re itching to ask about it.
Just Wright Citrus and Digital Hound Media are teaming up for video interviews with candidates that we’ll co-share on the JWC Facebook Page and Citrus County Live.
My friend Justin Strickland introduced me to Krystal and Ryan Downs, the awesome couple who own Digital Hound Media. I’m sure you’ve seen Citrus County Live on Facebook as their videos seem to get a zillion views. (Check out Ryan’s interview with Miles Teller.)
After some chats at Cattle Dog Coffee Roasters (my away office), we came up with an idea of recording county commission candidate interviews for availability to the public on our respective Facebook sites.
It’s the perfect match. Ryan says they don’t want to get into politics, and I don’t like to do any actual work. So my end of the partnership is to sit at Cattle Dog’s, sip lemonade and talk with candidates. Ryan and Krystal are the ones making sense of it all.
I asked Murphy to be our first interview. We’ve known each for years and worked on many video experiments at the Chronicle, so I knew he’d appreciate the nuances of all this. (Future blog topic: I’m friends with a LOT of candidates. It happens.)
That interview should be ready to go early next week, and others will follow as quickly as we can schedule them.
These are a chance for candidates to talk a little about themselves, why they’re running for county commission, and some plans to tackle the myriad of challenges facing Citrus County.
I hope you’ll tune in. As I've mentioned before, this is a huge election. I’m going to be writing about it a lot between now and the Aug. 23 primary. The idea is to give readers (and viewers) as much information about candidates and their plans as we can.
That’s my job. And boy am I enjoying it!
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Mike Wright has written about Citrus County government and politics for 36 years.