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THE ISSUE: The primary election.
OUR OPINION: Voters make the choices.
The great thing about elections is that they are like a cold front sweeping through the Florida peninsula. They wash away all of the pollution and we are reminded that we live in a great place.
The primary elections are over and most of the verbal and printed pollution is temporarily behind us. Here are a few observations about what took place:
+ Incumbent candidates did much better in 2012 than they did in 2010 when all of the sitting officeholders got the boot. On Tuesday, both incumbent county commissioners — Joe Meek and Dennis Damato — won re-election. In 2010, none of the incumbents won re-election.
+ The primary season had some of the nastiest campaigning ever seen in Citrus County as candidates hid behind unlimited funding to political action committees to launch their attacks. Floridians are being made fools of by their own politicians who created campaign finance laws that hide the facts. Finance reports were not released until the Friday before the Tuesday election — blocking any real information being released to voters in time to take the slush-fund sources into consideration. The laws are a joke.
+ Early voting was huge in Citrus County, but many voters lost the opportunity to participate in the debate during the last weeks of the campaign because they had already voted. While the supervisor of elections loves early voting, it may not be the best process for making good decisions. Remember that it was just a few years back that a local candidate for school board was arrested at the mall for sitting in his car without his pants on. That was not an advisable campaign strategy, but imagine how bad you would feel if you cast your ballot for him in early voting?
+ More Republicans in Citrus County voted than Democrats. According to voting results, 38 percent of the Republicans showed up and only 23 percent of the Democrats. Since everyone got to vote in the open primary, it’s hard to understand. Since there are no Democratic candidates in five of the races, the final decision was made Tuesday.
+ The overall voter turnout of 27.06 percent was pretty low compared to other counties in Florida.
+ Voters made their choices on Tuesday, and we all need to respect the final decision. Citrus County is still a small enough place that we can put aside political grudges and work together to solve the county’s many problems.