Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando GOP boss wants retraction from elections supervisor

BROOKSVILLE — The head of the Republican Party in Hernando County is asking Supervisor of Elections Annie Williams to issue a retraction and correct recent statements she made in defending an employee over allegations that the employee violated state election laws.

In a news release Friday, party chairman Blaise Ingoglia said Williams was wrong when she said that Democratic supervisor of elections candidate and elections office employee Elizabeth Townsend did not violate state statutes by parking her campaign-adorned vehicle next to the Forest Oaks elections office last month while early voting was taking place.

"It is troubling that the people we are trusting to ensure a clean and smooth election process are having such a challenging time following a common sense law," Ingoglia said in the release.

Ingoglia was referring to allegations made last month by Townsend's Republican opponent, Shirley Anderson, that Townsend's car was seen parked closer to the office's door than the 100-foot setback provided in state law.

Ingoglia said that his belief is based on an email sent Sept. 4 to his father, Andrew Ingoglia, a campaign volunteer for Anderson, by Gary Holland, assistant general counsel for the Florida Department of State.

Answering an inquiry from Andrew Ingoglia, Holland said that parking a vehicle with campaign signs within the setback was improper, even if Townsend's name wasn't on the ballot in the primary election.

Holland wrote: "If it was allowed in a primary just because a candidate was not on the general election ballot it would become unruly as all general election candidates would want to solicit within the zone during the primary."

Holland also noted that his opinion was for reference only.

Williams said on Aug. 30 that she felt Townsend was not in violation of the law because she was not a candidate on the primary ballot and that Townsend uses her vehicle to drive to and from work.

Under statutes, that is not considered "participating in a political campaign for an elected office while on duty," Williams said.

The incident came to light shortly after Anderson was notified by Williams that she had violated a state election statute when she entered a polling place during the Aug. 14 primary to inquire about the day's vote count.

Anderson later notified Williams that her opponent had also violated state election rules and sent photos of Townsend's car that she said were taken Aug. 4, the day early voting began.

Townsend, who works as operations director for the elections office, said last week that now that she is on the Nov. 6 general election ballot, she won't park her vehicle in her reserved spot during early voting or on Election Day.

"It is troublesome how Ms. Williams is quick to point out when others make mistakes, but when a candidate in her own political party makes a mistake she offers bizarre interpretations of existing law to cover for them," Ingoglia said in his release.

Williams did not return phone calls Friday from the Times.

Logan Neill can be reached at lneill@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1435.

Hernando GOP boss wants retraction from elections supervisor 09/07/12 [Last modified: Friday, September 7, 2012 8:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Half of Florida lawmakers fail or nearly fail review of support for public records

    State Roundup

    WEST PALM BEACH — Half of Florida's legislators failed or nearly failed in a review of their support for public records and meetings given by Florida newspapers and an open-government group after this year's legislative sessions.

    State Senator Bill Galvano, R- Bradenton (left) and Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran ranked on opposite sides of the spectrum in an analysis of support for open records. Galvano scored a B-minus and Corcoran scored a D-plus.
[Times file photo]
  2. Yale dean on leave over offensive Yelp reviews leaves post

    Bizarre News

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A Yale University dean who was placed on leave over offensive reviews she posted on Yelp has left her position at the Ivy League institution, school officials said Tuesday.

  3. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park

    Tourism

    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]
  4. The people you meet along O.J. Howard Lane

    Bucs

    OJ Howard (far right) is seen in a photo from his adolescent years at Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church in Prattville, Ala., on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. Howard served as an usher in addition to attending regular services at this church.