Editor's note: Candidates not recommended by the Tampa Bay Times are given an opportunity to respond.
Hernando School Board
Thank you for pointing out to your readership that:
Hernando County has been my home for 27 years.
I am a successful businessman.
I have volunteered thousands of hours, dedicated to making education better for all citizens of Hernando County from pre-K to K-12 and throughout college.
I would like to thank you for using the word "impressive" when you referred to my resume and also the words that made me feel the most confident that you really know me were "Guadagnino's experience gives him an appreciable overview of the district."
Supervisor of Elections
Thank you for recognizing that Elizabeth Townsend "certainly has the edge in experience" to be supervisor of elections. I am confident most readers will agree.
I am ready to use my eight years of experience to bring meaningful new ideas and new leadership to this office.
I challenge the rationale that I "must also shoulder responsibility" for the missteps of my supervisor. I am not the incumbent. I am responsible for my actions only. If I am to be held to the unrealistic standard that I am accountable for every decision made by my supervisor, then I suggest the Times hold my opponent accountable for every action of her recent bosses, both of whom are controversial elected officials your publication has criticized frequently.
I have extensive experience. I also have a passion to continue my service to Hernando County voters. Please vote for Elizabeth Townsend on Nov. 6.
James E. 'Eddie' McConnell
The Times recommended an appointed career administrator over a trusted law enforcement officer with proven administrative abilities and lifelong resident of Hernando County.
The Times apparently base the recommendation on my opponent's not fighting with the County Commission, retaining good assistants and agreeing to take over animal control officers. Meanwhile, they have selectively quoted my common sense approach of driving slower to save money. My platform has more depth. Look a little deeper.
I will never cut front-line deputies. My approach is trimming administration and not jeopardizing citizen protection. Recently Hernando County ranked second among nine major counties in Florida for outstanding warrants. I would be more aggressive to serve the over 2000 outstanding warrants and bring these suspects to justice.
I trust you will compare qualifications and vote for a 34-year law enforcement officer. I have over two decades of serving the citizens of Hernando County. Please visit my web site mcconnell4sheriff.com and cast your vote for me on Nov. 6.