Candidates Vie For Votes At Brevard Republican Picnic

MELBOURNE, Florida – Brevard Property Appraiser candidate Dana Blickley beat opponents Jason Steele and incumbent Jim Ford with 62% of the vote in a straw poll of nearly 1,000 Republican faithful Saturday afternoon at the Brevard Republican Executive Committee picnic at the Wickham Park pavilion.  Steele garnered 26% and Ford only 12%.  Ford did not attend the event.
"We are very pleased with the results of the Republican straw poll.  I believe this is a reflection of the hard work of a true grassroots campaign.  I am thankful for the dedication of our team and am honored to have the support of so many in Brevard," said Blickley.  Steele said, “This is a ‘tea party’ crowd.  Dana has their support.  She is a viable candidate.”

When asked about Ford’s absence from the event, Blickley said, “Business as usual.  He’s absent from the Property Appraiser’s office too.”  Steele added, “It’s not unusual for Jim Ford not to show up at events like this, he doesn’t show up for work either.”

Scott Ellis beat incumbent Mitch Needelman in the Clerk of Courts polling by a 72%-21% margin.  Needelman also chose not to participate, according to BREC Chairman Barbara Davis.

Ellis said, “He (Needelman) isn’t here because he doesn’t want to be asked questions about actions he’s taken.”

For Brevard County Sheriff, Wayne Ivey topped Todd Maddox 54% - 46%.

In a three-way contest for the newly-drawn Florida House of Representatives District 53, Tres Holton carried 37.5% of the 592 ballots cast; with incumbent John Tobia coming in second at 34% and Laureen Trent at 28.5% rounding the total.

“We were confident of a good showing in the straw poll, but to pull out a victory is humbling,” smiled Holton with a group of supporters and volunteers. Holton continues, “We still have a great deal of work ahead of us and with your continued and growing support, we will ensure a Conservative Voice, with roots in our community, is championing for us in Tallahassee.” 

In the three-way race for Brevard County Commission District 3, incumbent Trudie Infantini won with 41% of the straw poll vote.  Former two-time commissioner Helen Voltz came in a close second with 35% and Jason Mahaney, the vice-mayor of Grant-Valkaria, had 24%.

The straw poll was conducted by Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott and her staff, who said that 868 people cast votes.

“This has been a fabulous event,” Davis said.  “I want to thank all the volunteers, candidates, and elected officials for attending today.”

The picnic featured free hamburgers and hot dogs and many of the campaigns provided other refreshments.  Taraneh Dugas, the Republican Party of Florida Brevard County Field Director for Mitt Romney, sang the national anthem.

Among the other candidates in attendance were US Senate candidate and former congressman from Brevard County Dave Weldon as well as incumbent US Representative Bill Posey.

Complete straw poll results for all the races can be found here.

2012 Bi-Annual Brevard Republican Picnic Photo and Video Gallery


Article By Charles Parker

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