Enough of this turnpike/parkway talk already! Let’s have a nice, quiet Thursday and discuss something not quite so confrontational.
Politics. Ron Kitchen politics.
You may recall Kitchen, the county commission chairman, has previously stated he was hanging up his political career after eight years in county office and 10 years as mayor and councilman in Crystal River.
Then, during a heated discussion two weeks ago about the process for finding a new administrator, Kitchen more or less threatened to seek a third term if he wasn’t happy with the way things were going with the administrator search.
“I’ll consider it,” Kitchen said during the Feb. 8 board meeting. “I don’t want to run again but I will if I have to.”
Apparently not, according to what Kitchen is telling his constituents.
You know I read the commissioners' email, one commissioner for each week. Just by coincidence, last week’s email was Kitchen’s.
Several citizens stood by Kitchen and were happy to hear him say what he did.
“Hello. I am writing to let you know that I hope and pray that you will run for the Commission Chair position again. You are a valuable asset to our community. Thank you for all you do.”
“Please go for another term to balance the direction a couple of commissioners want to go. Your input along with Scott Carnahan is vital in selecting an Administrator.”
“I am writing to you as a concerned citizen of Citrus County! I may not always be able to attend the commissioner meetings, but I do watch online live or on replay! I must say, I agree with your wife, you need, you must, run again for your seat on the Board of County Commission. Your voice and stance on issues affecting all citizens of Citrus County is gravely needed. I cannot imagine Citrus County leadership with no true conservative ideas, perspectives, and values going forward! Please listen to your wife and thank you for sharing her encouragement for you to run again! I appreciate you serving in Citrus County as a Commissioner!”
(One of the writers sent Kitchen a screenshot of a Just Wright Citrus blog where I referred to Kitchen spreading unfounded gossip at the commission meeting. The person wrote: “Here is a snapshot of part of the article … and I’m certain you will see why I, and several in the community, are hoping you will continue as chair.”)
Kitchen, naturally, was appreciative and said so in his responses. But he also said another run probably won’t happen.
“Thank you so very much for your kind words and encouragement,” he replied to one person. “I believe that there is a candidate running in my district that will do a good job so I will most likely not be running for re-election.”
Another response was similar:
“Thank you for your comments and encouragement. I appreciate your support very much. I believe there is a candidate that is running for my district that will do a good job. I will continue to watch what the candidates have to say and make my final decision by June.”
District 2 currently has two candidates for commission: Diana Finegan and Stacey Worthington. I feel with 100% certainty he’s referring to Finegan.
But he also said he’d wait until June to decide for sure. June is the month that candidates officially qualify for the ballot.
So there you have it. Kitchen is probably not going to run again but he’ll let us know at the last minute.
I love Citrus County politics.
Have an awesome Thursday everyone.
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Mike Wright has written about Citrus County government and politics for 36 years.