Friday, January 19, 2018
Politics

Signs of South Shore support for Donald Trump

APOLLO BEACH — At a weekend meeting, many South Shore Republican Club members suggested they would stand behind Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee.

Club president Dave Thomas said that quite a few members voted for Trump in the Florida primary in March, and they're supportive going forward.

"We've all come together fairly well since he's sewing up the presumptive nominee, and we'll do our very best to get the word out for him," Thomas said before the Saturday evening dinner meeting, whose speakers included U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, and U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Ponte Vedra Beach.

Thomas said Trump has had good energy as far as turnout goes.

"The state of Florida will come down to turnout," Thomas said. "How energized we as Republicans are for getting out the vote, and others in general. And then how hard the Democrats will work."

South Shore Republican Club Secretary Donna McClane agreed.

"It will be tough against (Hillary) Clinton, but I think he will do well," McClane said. "We needed a change from what we have now. We need to have someone that really cares about Americans and our safety and I think Donald Trump will do it, and he's not a politician, which is good."

Former club member Mike Kirby of Wimauma, who attended the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, says he's cautiously optimistic.

"It seems like one man and one man only, that being (Barack) Obama, is ruling the roost and nothing we wanted done has happened since that convention," Kirby said. "But I don't think the Democrats have an answer and a national character that will sway the ballot, and I don't think Hillary is a charismatic character who can do that."

Kirby said he's thinking about rejoining the club to help get Trump elected.

David Wilson offered a different perspective. Wilson, an African-American member of the Tampa Bay Young Republicans who also serves on the executive committee of the Hillsborough County Republican Party, says the Republican Party's message of color blindness isn't resonating.

"They're not applying the message of conservative principles to black individuals and young black individuals and they should," said Wilson, who lives in Valrico.

Wilson added that Trump's background as a businessman who has won and lost millions will resonate better than other Republican candidates as a whole, but he doesn't believe he can beat Clinton.

With less than six months to go before the presidential election, Thomas said the South Shore Republican Club has its work cut out for it.

Said Thomas: "We'll be working the precincts to make sure Republicans are voting, walking around and talking to people about issues we feel are a proper platform, especially the undecided."

Contact Kathryn Moschella at [email protected]

Comments
Congress likely racing toward a government shutdown

Congress likely racing toward a government shutdown

WASHINGTON — A bitterly-divided Congress hurtled toward a government shutdown this weekend in a partisan stare-down over demands by Democrats for a solution on politically fraught legislation to protect about 700,000 younger immigrants from being dep...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Clearwater City Council candidate John Funk: City needs better planning

Clearwater City Council candidate John Funk: City needs better planning

CLEARWATER — Voters may not be too familiar with the name John Funk.So since launching his campaign for City Council Seat 5 against well-known incumbent Hoyt Hamilton, Funk said he has knocked on 2,000 doors to introduce himself. Before the March 13 ...
Published: 01/19/18
Clearwater City Council candidate Hoyt Hamilton: Experience is key for critical next term

Clearwater City Council candidate Hoyt Hamilton: Experience is key for critical next term

CLEARWATER — By asking voters to elect him into office a fifth time, Hoyt Hamilton knows he’s now considered part of the old-guard. Born and raised in Clearwater, his family roots stretch back here more than 100 years. Hamilton, 59, spent nearly his ...
Published: 01/19/18

Q&A: Government shutdown looms. Here’s what you need to know

Lawmakers have until midnight tonight to pass legislation to avert a government shutdown.Here’s what that means. Why would the government shut down?Every year, Congress has to approve laws, known as appropriations, that provide money for federal agen...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Redington Shores mayor, commission positions filled with no opponents

Redington Shores mayor, commission positions filled with no opponents

REDINGTON SHORES — There will be no election this year, but the changeout of commission members that began last year will continue. When the new commission is sworn in this March, four of five members, including the mayor, will have changed within th...
Published: 01/18/18
Rick Baker leaving Edwards Group, promoting new book

Rick Baker leaving Edwards Group, promoting new book

ST. PETERSBURG — Rick Baker is opening a new chapter in his life. So far, the future remains an open book.The former two-term mayor announced Sunday that he’s resigning his position as president of the Edwards Group effective Jan. 31.Baker has worked...
Published: 01/18/18
Madeira Beach voters have clear choices as battle lines form over growth

Madeira Beach voters have clear choices as battle lines form over growth

By Sheila Mullane EstradaTimes CorrespondentMADEIRA BEACH — Voters here can either end or continue the city’s divisive politics on March 13. They will also decide how the city grows.The two commission seats that now represent pro-growth and pro-devel...
Published: 01/18/18
Christie leaves as unpopular N.J. governor, but with no broken legs

Christie leaves as unpopular N.J. governor, but with no broken legs

TRENTON, N.J. — Republican Chris Christie left the New Jersey governor’s office with his popularity in tatters, but at least he didn’t break a leg. Christie is the first elected New Jersey governor in more than two decades not to suffer a broken leg ...
Published: 01/17/18
Ernest Hooper: Restoring rights after prison is about redemption, not politics

Ernest Hooper: Restoring rights after prison is about redemption, not politics

Desmond Meade says everywhere he goes in Florida, he hears the stories.From whites and blacks, conservatives and liberals, blue collar laborers and white collar wage earners. People from all walks have walked up to him with a common request.They’re c...
Published: 01/16/18
Updated: 01/17/18
23 seek vacant PSC post

23 seek vacant PSC post

There is another Mariano seeking a job in Tallahassee.Pasco County Commissioner Jack Mariano, the father of state Rep. Amber Mariano, R-Hudson, is seeking an appointment to the Florida Public Service Commission, the powerful board regulating Florida ...
Published: 01/16/18