Editor's note: Candidates not recommended by the Tampa Bay Times are given an opportunity to respond.
Mike Graves Public Defender, 5th Judicial Circuit
In the recent review of the public defender candidates, the Tampa Bay Times concluded that I am the most qualified candidate.
As I am the most qualified, State Attorney Brad King has endorsed me, and Public Defender Skip Babb has endorsed me. They have about 50 years of combined experience in the very criminal justice system where the newly elected public defender will operate.
However, the Times gave its lukewarm endorsement to my opponent who served for a short time months as an assistant public defender in another judicial circuit.
The sole basis of the endorsement surrounds my bar discipline history wherein I accepted my discipline for not responding to bar correspondence in a timely fashion. No complaints from the incarcerated former clients were ultimately found to have any actual merit.
It is unfortunate that the editors chose to emphasize the bar matter over my clearly superior qualifications.
Mark Caskie Hernando Elections Supervisor, Republican
Thanks for the opportunity to respond and for recognizing my budget and leadership experience as assets.
I have managed a budget and staff nearly three times that the Supervisor's Office. You did mischaracterize our discussion of change. We discussed whether I would bring a whole new staff and I said I had no plans to replace everyone. I will evaluate the current staff and personnel structure to determine if efficiencies can be made to the largest expense line in the budget. Operating two offices will also be looked at.
Changes are needed at the state level so that expenses can be reduced at the local level. I will be the catalyst for that change. I have experience testifying in Tallahassee.
I am a problem solver who interacts with the public on a daily basis. On Aug. 14, mark your ballot for Mark K. Caskie for Hernando's Supervisor of Elections.
William Kingeter Hernando School Board, District 2
Regarding your recommendation of Matt Foreman over me, I am absolutely taken aback. Apparently, you and I were on different wavelengths during the interview.
We discussed the fact that Mr. Foreman already holds two jobs — one as the attorney for the Clerk of the Courts, and one with the Hogan law firm in addition to his School Board appointment by a very unpopular governor. We discussed a lack of any positive action by Foreman.
Your recommendation of him defies credibility.
Gus Guadagnino Hernando School Board, District 4
You stated, "Guadagnino's idea that a percentage of students grades should be based on parental participation is unworkable. " I ask, how do you know this unworkable? Where has my plan been tried and failed?
You stated my opponent's "kind of thinking" gives him the edge because he wants to trim overhead by limiting after school activities. The last thing we need to do, is take away from our students and add more scheduling burden on the backs of their working parents. We need to do a better job on providing our students with a well-rounded education.
We need to trim administration cost and operational expenses and use those dollars inside the classroom. We must look at construction, energy, health insurance, maintenance, purchasing and transportation for more effective and efficient ways of doing business.
On Aug. 14, vote for a proven leader. Vote for Gus Guadagnino.
God bless America.