Hernando Green candidate revealed
Sarah Roman, the 21-year-old mystery Green Party candidate running in Hernando's House District 44, briefly answered a few questions in an e-mail conversation with the Times.
It's the first public comments the Port Richey resident has made since qualifying as a candidate, and her e-mail arrived moments before another one from Hernando Green representative Jennifer Sullivan. Read both below.
--John Frank, Times staff writer
Roman is a former Times Foundation Barnes Scholarship finalist. Her back story, as she said at the time, was that she was living with her best friend's family. Her mother Dee Moody Roman had died in a car accident when she was 4. She lived with her grandparents until they died. Her father had run-ins with the law and ended up in jail in Pasco. William Roman surrendered his parental rights in October 2003 to Regina Weilbacker, who then became Sarah's guardian.
Here's her answer to questions by e-mail:
Why are you running as a Green Party candidate? "First I am running as a Green Party candidate because I would like to see more of the "green" perspective in Tallahassee, I strongly believe we must preserve and protect our natural environment. I have been non-party status since I registered to vote simply because I wanted to be sure the party I was a part of was where I belonged. I have educated myself about what the green party represents and feel it is closely aligned with my beliefs.
Was this your idea to run, Green party officials are skeptical because they don't know you? "As far as whether or not it was my idea, of course, and I find this question slightly offensive. For the filing fee I loaned my campaign two thousand dollars."
What is your campaign platform? "My platform, very concisely, conserving water is a top priority along with cleaning up and preservation of the everglades. I also feel there needs to be more of a people's voice in Tallahassee."
What affect do you expect to have on the election? "My impact, I mainly hope to get these issues heard and discussed to make more people aware."
Why did you switch parties and what do you say to those who question your candidacy? "As for the last question again, I have recently decided this was the party I truly wanted to be a part of. I look forward to representing the Green Party and working with them during this election, I know this will be a rewarding learning experience. Although, I once again find your last question offensive, I know it is rare to see a young person involved in politics but I am looking forward to this experience."
An excerpted statement from Jennifer Sullivan, the Hernando County Green Party representative who is skeptical of the local candidate:
"Regarding my local experience with our elusive and unknown Green candidates. As a Green representative from the area, I went to meet Sarah Roman at her home. She was not there, but I met her parents. They said that she was out doing volunteer work, which is a good thing. I went to where she was supposed to be and she was not there either. So I left my number and am still waiting to hear from her. We have no phone number to call Ms. Roman.
It seems that the Republican controlled state legislature has made a rule: anyone that can plop down the right amount of money can run for any party they want. In this case, we have five "Green" candidates that the state Green Party did not have on the latest member lists that we get from the Supervisor of Elections. None of the five contacted the national, state or local Greens prior to filling, or since filling. None of the Green activists know them.
Greens think that youth and enthusiasm are good things. As Greens with firm values, we also would want to present a candidate that had some experience and credentials to offer in running for a state office. It's reasonable for us, or any party, to have the expectations of making sure that the candidates that represent us have our values and are knowledgeable of our platforms."