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Medical Weed & Blowouts at Seminole Chamber of Commerce Hob Nob & Straw Poll

seminole county chamber of commerce, jason brodeur, jason brodeur seminole county, kathryn townsend, kathryn townsend seminole county, mike clelland, mike clelland seminole county, scott plakon, scott plakon seminole county, scott sturgill, scott sturgill seminole county, charlie crist, charlie crist seminole county, nan rich, john morgan, john morgan seminole county, john morgan medical marijuana, michael ertel, jesse phillips, michael ertel seminole county, michael ertel seminole county supervisor of elec

Jason Brodeur, Bob Cortes, and Scott Plakon run away with decisive victories. Medical marijuana amendment passes 160 to 147, failing to reach the 60% threshold to pass in November.

By Jacob Engels

The Seminole County Chamber of Commerce Hob Nob & Straw poll held at the Westin in Lake Mary was different than other hob nobs and straw polls this season.....and here's why.....According to Jesse Phillips, an IT professional who was at the event, attendees were required to vote BEFORE entering the hob-nob area where candidates usually lobby & grease participants for votes.


"It was a packed room. I heard that 334 people voted in the straw poll. There were easily 400 to 450 people total that passed through the event," explained Phillips.


Why does this matter you ask? Well, first of all....the majority of hob nobs allow candidates to "work the room" and influence the outcome of the vote before most attendees cast their ballot. People come in, hit the food & booze - while elected officials and candidates float around the room grabbing votes.

There is nothing wrong with doing it like this, but it does leave room for certain candidates to wow attendees with slick talk or trinkets. Having voters fill in the bubble before this process allows for a more organic and accurate portrayal of the true leaning of the electorate.


So, who won....who lost....and who did OK? Here is a breakdown of the TOP 5 results to watch.

State House District 28 -


Incumbent Jason Brodeur walked away with a decisive victory against campaign finance violator & fellow Republican Kathryn Townsend. Brodeur garnered 180 votes to Townsend's 74.

Townsend who serves as the Seminole GOP State Committeewoman has angered many local GOP activists and leaders for launching a lackluster campaign against Seminole County's favorite son Jason Brodeur who has risen in the House GOP ranks. We reported last week that Townsend failed to file her campaign finance documents on time and have an upcoming report about her progressive Alaskan getaway coming later this week.


All in all, Brodeur should not be worried about the challenge from Townsend who is universally disliked by the majority of party leaders, volunteers, and donors. This lady could not even pledge her support for fellow Republicans & sued the State GOP to retain her spot as Seminole GOP's committeewoman. We'll see how that plays in a GOP primary in the deep red 28th district.


Jason Brodeur, who recently received the endorsement of the Florida Chamber of Commerce in his contested primary had this to say about his victory.


"It's an honor to be so strongly recognized by our business community."

Democratic primary for Florida Governor -


Republican-Independent-Democrat Charlie Crist crushed Nan Rich 36 to 12. Whether this is an indicator of whom the business community believes to be the weakest candidate to face off against their chosen candidate Rick Scott - or if this is a sign that Crist still has strong support amongst the chamber of commerce crowd is yet to be determined.


State Representative District 29 -

Incumbent Democratic State Representative Mike Clelland was crushed by former GOP Representative Scott Plakon - 210 votes to 88. This is particularly embarrassing for Clelland whom barely knocked off former State Representative Chris Dorworth in 2012 for several reasons.


For Clelland, who likes to act like he has the MOST CONSERVATIVE voting record for a Democrat in the State House, this is an embarrassing showing and blunder.   His voting record is still 500% TOO LIBERAL for Seminole's 29th district and would make Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid proud.


Second, he has seen some of the best fundraising numbers for a Democratic incumbent in recent memory - yet he could not push his supporters (and offer to buy their tickets) at the straw poll to walk away with what would have been an outstanding GAME CHANGING win at Thursdays event. Who is advising this guy?


Looks like Scott Plakon will be the leading COMEBACK KID in 2014.

State House District 30 -


Another straw poll and another victory for Longwood City Commissioner and Mayor Bob Cortes against GOP primary opponent Scott Sturgill. Cortes walked away with close to 60% of the vote - besting Soil & Water Supervisor Scott Sturgill 145 to 106. This is the 6th straight win for Bob Cortes who recently received the endorsement of the Florida Chamber of Commerce - with the chamber selecting him over fellow business owner & Republican Scott Sturgill.


Sturgill has been stumbling as of late, and skipping on Seminole County's largest and most prominent straw poll is one of his larger mistakes. Earlier this year he called Rick Scott a "PR Nightmare" & recently hired Phil Russo as his consultant. Russo is known for sabotaging Todd Long's failed congressional campaigns against Alan Grayson & for reinvigorating Stugill's dull smear campaign against Bob Cortes. Let the drumbeat start for Scott Sturgill to DROP OUT.


Medical Marijuana Initiative (Amendment 2) -


The John Morgan backed Amendment 2, which pushes for medical marijuana in the Sunshine State came no where close to the numbers it needs to pass this coming November - garnering 160 "YES" votes to 147 "NO" votes. That is only 52% of the vote, and the amendment needs 60% to pass in November. Considering this was a bi-partisan event and that Seminole County now has two prominent Democratic elected officials in State Representative Karen Castor-Dentel & State Representative Mike Clelland, it looks more and more likely that trial lawyer & liberal moneyman John Morgan will flush MILLIONS down the toilet trying to pass Amendment 2.


Well, there you have it. To cap it off, we'll finish with this quote from Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Michael Ertel on this years event.


"Year-after-year this is not only the most well-attended Seminole County Hob Nob, but with decades long history - also yields the most anticipated results."


Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post & Seminole County Post. He is a seasoned political operative who has led numerous statewide political groups and has worked on several high-profile local, statewide, and national races. Jacob has been interviewed on national television & radio programs, with his work having been featured in the Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald and other publications nationwide. He can be reached at [email protected]





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