Editor's note: The Chronicle Editorial Board issues endorsements of local candidates. Endorsement decisions are based on multiple interviews conducted with each candidate by the board and staff. Candidates not endorsed by the editorial board of the Chronicle are encouraged to submit a rebuttal to letters@chronicleonline.com no later than Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020. All rebuttals submitted prior to the deadline are guaranteed to publish no later than Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, the day before Election Day.

Four candidates, Cregg Dalton, David Gregory, Tim Reynard and Rob Tessmer, are vying for the Citrus County Property Appraiser seat in the Republican primary. The winner will face no party affiliation (NPA) candidate Richard “Rick” Schroeder in the November general election.

The four Republicans are a solid field of candidates. All have a college degree, proven work experience, a servant-leader philosophy, and a grasp of the responsibilities for the office they seek.

When comparing the education, experience and leadership of the four candidates, however, Dalton and Reynard are the front runners of the field.

Dalton’s Masters of Business Administration degree affords him the educational breadth of perspective to creatively think outside-the-box, strategically plan, intuitively analyze data, and resourcefully solve organizational problems.

Reynard’s post-undergraduate education is more nuts and bolts oriented with five years of appraisal course work and 5,000 hours of accredited work experience that earned him the highest appraisal designation of “Member Appraisal Institute” from the highly regarded Appraisal Institute.

Dalton’s appraiser experience includes 3-1/2 years with the Sumter County Property Appraiser Office and two years as a private sector appraiser. This experience is complemented by his U.S. Navy service, 11 years service with the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office where he advanced through the ranks to sergeant, and extensive, longtime community involvement.

Reynard has basically spent his entire working life in the appraisal field. With 34 years appraiser experience, he is a Florida certified appraiser and qualified court expert. Currently the deputy to Citrus County Property Appraiser Les Cook, Reynard has been endorsed by Cook.

Being a successful constitutional officer is much more than knowing the nuts and bolts of the office held. It requires a leader who is a creative thinker, team-builder, good communicator, caring mentor and enthusiastic motivator. Dalton, a graduate of the University of Louisville’s Administrative Leadership Course and Executive Leadership Graduate Program, has exhibited these leadership attributes in abundance.

This is attested to by the endorsements of Dalton by former Citrus County Property Appraiser Melanie Hensley, the property appraisers of Lake County and Sumter County, and Citrus County Commissioner Jeff Kinnard. Based upon their collective leadership insights, the cutting edge distinction between Dalton and Reynard is Dalton’s proven leadership.

Although education is essential and experience important to the successful direction of any organization, leadership is absolutely critical. As such, Dalton’s proven leadership ability, coupled with his impressive record of community outreach and building relationships, make him the best choice for property appraiser.