SANTA ROSA INSIDER: School Superintendent Candidate’s Campaign Goes Negative

Posted on April 13, 2024 by EDITORIAL BOARD

Brenda Stephens, owner of In & Out No Bullshit Loaders & Unloaders, a Navarre-based moving company, is attempting to run for Superintendent of Santa Rosa County Schools, a district comprised of dozens of schools, serving more than 30,000 students with a budget of more than $475 million.

Recently her husband, Rick, has been using social media posts to attack other candidates in the race, claiming his wife is the only true Republican. Well, that’s a bunch of BS from the self-proclaimed “no bullshit” crew. A quick check of the Supervisor of Elections website shows Dr. Karen Barber and David Godwin are also registered Republicans. 

It’s also interesting that the only registered Democrat in that race, Michael Maradik, a write-in candidate, lives across the street from Stephens. If Maradik remains in the race, it will close the August 20 primary to non-GOP voters, which helps Stephens and her fellow Republican candidates.

The SOE website also shows Stephens has only raised $654 for her campaign with less than 90 days before ballots start getting mailed out. 

A campaign which failed to get financial backing from the community cannot build up name recognition on a ramen noodle budget and bascially has no choice other than attack other GOP candidates in a desperate attempt to attract some attention.

Such Republican infighting is a political tactic used often by members of the Santa Rosa County Republican Executive Committee, which counts the Stephens amongst its members. This REC over the past few years has been infiltrated by some unhinged members who seem to thrive off attacking fellow Republicans.

For example, REC member Pam Mitchell, who lost a 2018 bid for Milton City Council, had to be removed by law enforcement from Monday’s council meeting after she wouldn’t stop trying to disrupt discussion related to a motion by Councilman Jeff Snow.

REC member David Farrow during a council meeting last year said to Snow, “I would love to just ram my fist in your face.”

Additionally, this week REC member Sherry Chapman advocated for NPA candidate Kim Klein while incessantly bashing Republican Alex Andrade, who’s seeking re-election to his Florida House District 2 seat.

Multiple SRC REC members have lost bids in local races, and jealousy explains part of their penchant for cruelly attacking fellow Republicans. The group has certainly earned its nickname as the “Congress of Unelectables” with members who have lost local races, including: Pam Mitchell, Patty Burke, Pete Peters, Wes Siler, and more. Several other REC members, including Stephens, will be joining that list soon “if” they can even qualify to run by the June 14 deadline…