The dust has barely settled from the primary, and already things are heating up for November.
The Hernando County Republican Executive Committee and county Commissioner John Druz- bick issued a scathing press release last week, blasting Democrat Diane Rowden for "dirty politics,'' citing a mailing Rowden sent out soliciting donations.
Rowden used Druzbick's list of campaign contributors and mailed them a solicitation seeking support, saying, "John and I agree on more than we disagree on.''
True or not, Druzbick, who was defeated by Jason Sager in the Aug. 14 Republican primary, said he wanted to make it clear that he is not supporting Rowden or any candidate in November's District 3 commission race.
In the press release, Druzbick said Rowden was "as anti business as they come'' and noted that Rowden was part of the County Commission that Republicans have blamed for having a "big spending, liberal agenda.''
The mailing also failed to include a disclaimer labeling it as a paid political advertisement for Rowden.
Rowden said she tried to reach out to Druzbick before sending out the letter, but did not get a return phone call. She said she sent out the letter to Druzbick's supporters — the list is a public record — because she thought many would prefer her over Sager. And, she said she can name numerous businesses she has helped during her previous time on the commission.
She said she didn't realize that she needed a disclaimer on the letter because other items in the packet she sent, including her campaign flier, had the required disclaimer.
Supervisor of Elections Annie Williams said all of the paperwork needed the clear disclaimer and that she always tells candidates, if they have a question, to err on the side of caution and add the disclaimer.
In addition to Sager and Rowden, no-party candidate Greg Sheldon and write-in candidate Tanya Marsh are running in the District 3 race.
Commission considers Glantz's suggestions
Democrat Arlene Glantz, a candidate for the District 1 seat on the Hernando County Commission, met with the county administrator and other officials last week to discuss several ideas she has for increasing county revenue without raising taxes. But at least one of them appears to be dead in the water.
Glantz pitched the idea of levying fees on local Internet cafe/sweepstakes operations, but was told that the county cannot regulate those businesses. County staffers are still researching her other proposals, which include selling advertisements on county park fences and inside library books.
Campaign offices open
The Democratic and Republican parties in Hernando County have opened campaign offices for the election season.
• Democrats have opened the Organizing for America office, the local campaign office for President Barack Obama, at 5170 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill. Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. For information, call (727) 421-4342. Democratic Campaign Headquarters, at 3430 Deltona Blvd., Spring Hill, is also open from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. "Coffee and Conversation" is offered 10 a.m. to noon each Saturday. Campaign materials (bumper stickers, pins, etc.) are available. For information, call (352) 593-6550 or visit hernandodemocrats.us.
• Republicans have opened the Romney Spring Hill Victory office at 2939 Landover Blvd., Spring Hill. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, and visitors can pick up Mitt Romney lawn signs and bumper stickers, or sign up to volunteer to make phone calls or precinct walks. Call the office at (352) 556-6422. The Hernando County Republican Executive Committee Headquarters is also open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays at 19227 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville.
Douglas looks to 2014
As if there are not enough candidates for voters to get to know before the Nov. 6 election, there is already one candidate who has tossed his hat in the ring for 2014.
Paul Douglas, past president of the local NAACP, has prequalified to run as a Democrat for the District 4 County Commission seat, now held by Dave Russell. Douglas, who dropped out of a race for the District 5 seat earlier this year, said he jumped in early because he wanted enough time to get petition cards signed and campaign financing settled.
Candidate event today
A "Meet Candidate Gregory Lewis Sheldon" event is 2 to 6 p.m. today at Delta Woods Park, 3400 Deltona Blvd., Spring Hill. Complimentary refreshments will be served.
Sheldon, who has no party affiliation, is running for the District 3 seat on the Hernando County Commission. For more information, visit gregorylewissheldon.com or call (352) 442-0422.
Democratic Club event
The Hernando County Democratic Club will host a candidate forum and spaghetti dinner at 6 p.m. Saturday at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 6193 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill.
Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Call (352) 587-2397. Visit the website at hernandodemocrats.us.
Staff writers Barbara Behrendt and Phyllis Day contributed to this report.