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Primary Picks: Consider These Candidates On August 30th

seminole county post, seminole county news, news seminole county, central florida news, news central florida, seminole county tax collector, seminole county republican executive committee, seminole county gop, kathryn townsend, susie dolan, susan susie dolan, joel greenberg, sammy gibson, ray valdes, grant maloy, mike mclean, dede shaffner, abby sanchez, abby sanchez seminole county, jacob engels

August 30th is Election Day. Our thoughts on the hottest races in Seminole County.


By Jacob Engels


The Seminole County Post has been very vocal about our support and criticisms of candidates this election cycle, so our endorsements should not come as a surprise to most.


However, we thought it would be good to recap this intense campaign cycle, and provide some final thoughts on the biggest battles that will come to an end Tuesday night. Our viewpoint on these races is shaped by candidate fundraising, community engagement, level of support, and more.




This is a very interesting race, because you have three viable candidates. Retired Undercover Seminole County Captain Sammy Gibson, former Commissioner Grant Maloy, and former Commissioner Mike McLean.


In the year of the outsider, both McLean and former elected official Grant Maloy could face an uphill battle.


Both have run aggressive ground games and been active in voters mailboxes, but the stigma of being a "politician" might keep them from going over the hump.


While I want to be partial to McLean because he is a fellow University of Michigan football fan, the buck stops there.


That being said, Mike is a notoriously nice guy, who I think could build bridges if elected. We just can't get behind someone who has held elected office for multiple terms this cycle.


Maloy is a Libertarian at heart, and if he did not come across as self-righteous as he does, he would be more appealing.


Gibson on the other hand, is a career public servant. His investigative prowess has toppled gangs, drug running operations, and even the notorious Allied Veterans scam.


Like the others, he has been a non-stop campaigner, but has also raised and spent close to $80,000 to reach voters. This makes his campaign the most consistent across the board.


He also benefits from the support of popular outgoing Sheriff Don Eslinger, and countless other decision makers who he will have to work with if elected.


Lastly, he is not only the type of guy who has the no nonsense approach we need in a Clerk, but also the one who you most want to sit down and have a beer with.


We enthusiastically endorse Sammy Gibson.




Do we really need to say anything else about this race? Incumbent Ray Valdes is under investigation by the FDLE and Florida Commission on Ethics for abuse of power, profiting from his public office, nepotism and more.


The Orlando Sentinel, WFTV, News 13, and several all news organizations have covered this in their own ways.


Mr. Valdes has refused to answer questions about missing items on his disclosure forms and shell companies he has used to buy hundreds of properties he oversees.


Challenger Joel Greenberg has run a hard-charging campaign and mustered a dedicated ground force. Momentum in the final weeks was clearly in Greenberg's favor and shifted his way even more after Valdes refused to answer questions about a shell company during an interview with News 13, slamming his office door in the reporters face.


And when everyone thought it couldn't get worse for the 28 YEAR incumbent, he assaulted me on camera for asking the same questions.


This lead the Altamonte Springs Police Department to recommend to the State Attorney that he be charged with assault, theft, and criminal mischief.


Voters who are tired of career politicians have a reason to vote him out.


Voters who are fed up with politicians abusing their power for personal gain have a reason to vote him out.


Voters who don't appreciate those who put their hands on other people in a violent manner... have a reason to vote him out.


Challenger Joel Greenberg has promised to end the cronyism, corruption, and upgrade the technology of the office.


Here's to hoping his business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit reform Seminole County for the better. The Seminole County Post wholeheartedly endorses businessman Joel Greenberg.




Anyone who knows Jesse Phillips, knows he is the best man for the job. Facing a little known challenger who rarely shows up to forums or community events, the longtime activist and campaign hand is on par for a strong victory.


From helping elect one of Central Florida's best legislators in Bob Cortes, to shaping the leadership choices of the Seminole County GOP, Mr. Phillips is the best and brightest.


Understanding the shifting dynamics of the electorate, he is going to do an awesome job as Committeeman.


Oh and how about those amazing blue eyes... Phillips for the win!


Turning gears to the Committeewoman's race, we have three candidates vying for the spot. Incumbent Kathryn Townsend has struggled to attend meetings regularly and has a history of suing the GOP/running against popular incumbents who enjoy universal popularity among the rank and file.


Because of that, she has drawn two challengers this cycle, and only one is worthy of removing her from the throne and placing her head outside the gates: Susan "Susie" Dolan.


Mrs. Dolan is a top level executive for the popular trash collection company WastePro. In that capacity she has worked with varying groups and governmental agencies, which is the exact expierence we need for our party.


With different factions constantly fighting to take control of the platform and direction of the GOP, local Republicans need a true unifying force to bring the party together to defeat the Democrats.


Susie Dolan is that candidate.




In the spirit of tackling the incumbency, we are getting behind longtime educator Abby Sanchez. She has brought up good points on recent slips by the school board, including the addition of more F or INCOMPLETE schools.


Sanchez has also challenged the broken mantra of "teaching to the test", instead of actually enlightening young minds. Incumbent Dede Shaffner has had decades to work on improving the school system and has to some extent, but it's time for some new blood.


An increasingly plugged in student body deserves a more current point of view on the school board, and Abby Sanchez can provide that.




View all active candidates by visiting .



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]