SANTA ROSA INSIDER: Democrat enters District 1 Commission Race

Posted on March 19, 2024 by EDITORIAL BOARD

UPDATE: We’re told that Martin may be planning to withdraw from the race, but he hasn’t done so yet…

Today’s a lucky day for Commissioner Sam Parker after another candidate jumped in the District 1 race. This time, it’s a Democrat. Blake Martin prefiled late yesterday afternoon.

Having multiple candidates sign up to challenge an incumbent usually tends to favor the incumbent. So far Parker has three Republican challengers in addition to Martin.

Former President Donald J. Trump will also have a lucky day today as he officially wins the Florida Presidential Primary. As of 8:34 a.m., 8,007, or 9.6% of Santa Rosa County’s 83,367 registered Republican voters had cast ballots, including:

  • 306 so far this morning at polls, which opened at 7 a.m and close at 7 p.m.,
  • 5,064 via early voting and
  • 2,637 via mail. 

Meanwhile, Florida Democrats won’t have their say after the state Democratic Executive Committee in October 2023 decided to place only President Joe Biden on the ballot – despite him having challengers at the time. A court case challenging that FL DEC action failed.

Speaking of Democrats, Florida House District 3 Representative Joel Rudman is in hot water with some local Republicans after actively working with Democrats to push for a Medicaid expansion in Florida. 

“We’re one of the last remaining 10 states that have yet to expand Medicaid. This option needs to be put on the table,” Rudman told WPLG’s Miami’s “This Week in South Florida” host Glenna Milberg during an pre-session appearance with House District 101 Representative Hillary Cassel, a Democrat.

Rudman’s push to expand Medicaid, specifically coverage for “childless adults,” has resulted in backlash from fellow Republicans that may or may not have played a role in his bills being ignored in the Senate, resulting in only 2 of 7 he bills he sponsored getting passed for a second year in a row, leaving him with a 4 of 14 record. 

Rudman’s lackluster performance has opened up the door for a challenger to enter the race and stand a chance against all the dark PAC money that flows to incumbents.

Respectable local leaders have grown frustrated with Rudman’s pettiness and pandering to community agitators. They’re encouraging an area business leader to run. I hope he does. 

We’re expecting some breaking news in another local race later today…stay tuned! Join our 74,000+ social media followers: CLICK HERE TO FOLLOW SOUTH SANTA ROSA NEWS ON SOCIAL MEDIA