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Seminole GOP Must Appoint Commission To Review Election, Or Sink Quickly

seminole county gop, seminole county republican executive committee, seminole county post, seminole county news, news seminole county, frank torres, jeff bauer, kathryn townsend, orlando political observer, florida politics, jacob engels,

What happened at Thursday night's meeting was not aligned with Republican ideals or the American way.


By Jacob Engels


Disgraceful. Shameful. Embarrassing.


Those are the words that many have used to describe what happened last night at the Seminole GOP's leadership elections / Christmas celebration. While I was not in attendance, like many of you, I was glued to a live feed of the meeting from veteran political reporter Frank Torres of the Orlando Political Observer.




The election was expected to be a dramatic affair, coming off a weeks long "rumor war" going on among local Republicans, with candidates for Chairman bending over backwards to smear one another. It became so bad, that a high level Republican had to request help from the state party to secure a fair election. Sadly, even this call for help was not enough to quash radical elements within the party from putting on a publicly televised act of soviet style censorship.


Lead by Vice Chairman Linda Trocine, members discussed removing non-members from the meeting space for a secretive ballot process, even as up to 25 potential members joined the meeting in fellowship, and to learn about the local party. She was supported by disgraced former Tax Collector Ray Valdes, who provided her guidance on how to censor the audience in order to conduct a shadow vote.


The push to remove non-members and create a secret election was a plan hatched by several radical members of the Never Trump movement within the local party, of which Valdes is longtime member. Seminole Soil and Water Commissioner Ed Young, who had been purged from voter rolls with many others, questioned the process and asked about the paperwork requirements.


"Who was in charge of handling those documents," charged Young who is known for his aggressive volunteer efforts for GOP candidates. 


The Seminole County Post received and substantiated several tips from members of the Seminole County Republican Executive Committee, who believed their membership documents may have been altered. Most members concluded it was an "inside job", suspecting someone close to the board of having made the unauthorized changes.


After nearly 30-minutes of bickering about whether to purge the room or not, it was eventually decided to remove visiting guests, prospective members, and media present at the event. "The King of Corruption and Backroom Deals" in Seminole County (Ray Valdes), abstained from the vote.


Interesting how he gave Linda Trocine the blueprint for her soviet style censorship, but didn't have the courage to vote in support of this crime against transparency. Members then had a vote to re-vote the most previous vote. The cycle went on for some time.


After most non-members were removed, Seminole County GOP State Committeewoman Susie Dolan bravely seconded a motion to keep Orlando Political Observer's Frank Torres in the room. This was quite possibly, the only refreshing moment of the night, go Susie.


Eventually, Seminole GOP Vice Chair Linda Trocine appointed her son and husband as Sergeant at Arms to physically remove Orlando Political Observer reporter Frank Torres, and any remaining non-members from the public space. Yes, in one of the most conservative regions in Florida, elected Republican leaders went into an "executive session" that forced dozens from observing and participating in the voting process.


Trocine's "KGB agents" became aggressive, lead by several geriatric aged men who approached reporter Frank Torres during his live-stream, attempting to herd him out of the room. Mr. Torres would eventually agree to peacefully leave, after Never Trump elements in the leadership and committee refused to relent, successfully securing their secret meeting.


Donald Trump for President Seminole County leader and local GOP member LA Key conducted several Facebook live interviews from the lobby area of the meeting after the purge, slamming the move by party leaders.


"Everyone should be allowed to hear what is going on in there."


The members would go on to elect former State Committeewoman Kathryn Townsend as their Chair after several rounds of voting, with incumbent Chairman Jeff Bauer not making it off the first ballot. Free speech assassin Linda Trocine was retained as Vice Chairwoman with Kimberly Carroll being elected Secretary, and Jim Winter as Treasurer.


In light of this embarrassing election and soviet style censorship, Seminole GOP leaders should be tripping over themselves to figure out what they can do better. Thursday night was their low point... what could be their high point?


This new board should immediately establish an investigative committee to determine who altered membership documents and find out who is to blame for what went wrong at Thursday night's election meeting. People not associated with this disastrous election should be allowed equal standing to serve on this committee, along with the members of the new board to craft a plan that will help the party recover from this embarrassing affair.


Hugo Chavez silences the press, Fidel Castro operated in the darkness... this is not who local Republicans admire or aspire to be. They are the party of freedom and liberty, not this.


If the Seminole GOP does not take measures to investigate these matters, hundreds of local party activists and members might need to consider forming a separate organization to help elect freedom loving Republican candidates. Frankly, anything would be better than the dumpsterfire that occurred in Altamonte Springs on December 15th.


Removing a respected reporter like Frank Torres is a cardinal sin that the Seminole County Republican Executive Committee will have to atone for... there is no doubt about that.


Let's hope the new leadership has the guts to ask tough questions and reform the party, Central Florida is watching.


Otherwise, you may witness one of the state's reddest areas without a legitimate party apparatus... which would be a damn shame.



Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post & Seminole County Post. His work through these publications has been showcased in hundreds of publications and news outlets in the state of Florida, the United States, and around the globe. 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]