Sept. 14, 2020

Contact: Steven Nekhaila,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida
844-FLA-FREE (352-3733)


KEY WEST, Fla. – We’ve all heard of the growing erosion of privacy due to federal and state surveillance. Now we have a Florida county sheriff who’s taking a leap further: attempting to predict crimes.

Like something out of Philip K. Dick’s 1956 “Minority Report” short story, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco uses something called “Intelligence-Led Policing” to do what he describes as “proactively address future concerns before they arise.” Many consider that to mean harass and threaten targeted individuals, their family and friends. One woman reported she recorded deputies shining flashlights into her home while she was away.

The astonishing “Targeted” investigation was published in the Tampa Bay Times Sept. 3.[i]

According to the Times, a special team of 30 investigators comb social media, police records, bank statements and surveillance records to establish a list of individuals they conclude are “not likely to reform.”

From the Times:

“The people on the list are what the department calls “prolific offenders.” The manual describes them as individuals who have “taken to a career of crime” and are “not likely to reform.”

Potential prolific offenders are first identified using an algorithm the department invented that gives people scores based on their criminal records. People get points each time they’re arrested, even when the charges are dropped. They get points for merely being a suspect.

The Pasco sheriff’s intelligence team uses something called “prolific offender calculations” to establish targets. Lists of likely crime suspects based on arrest history, undefined “surveillance” and “arbitrary decisions by police analysts,” reports the Times. With the lists, officers in the Strategic Targeted Area Response teams pursue the individuals, often without any other probable cause than being on the list.

Late-night raids are conducted, family and friends are approached, according to the Times. The mother of one teenage subject was issued a $2,500 fine for having chickens in her yard. The Times notes that of the addresses visited most often, more than half were teenagers. One 14-year-old teen committed suicide after being targeted even though he had begun to turn his life around.

The LPF’s Platform states, in part:
“We believe in the right of privacy to all lawful citizens and condemn and oppose any attempts to subvert this right. We hold dear the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Section 23 of the Constitution of Florida, which both lawfully guarantee the government’s absence from intruding on the personal life of the individual. We oppose all measures to collect, mine, share, and distribute data on citizens without a warrant by State or Federal courts.”

The Libertarian Party of Florida abhors this practice and calls on the citizens of Pasco County to reconsider funding this $2.8 million program. In a time when policing is under scrutiny throughout the nation, we believe this is the wrong approach. Law enforcement should only be brought into play when there has been an offense against person, property or civil right. It should never be used to create criminals.

– By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

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[i] “Targeted,” Tampa Bay Times, Sept. 3, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 5, 2020 Contact: Steven Nekhaila, Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida   KEY WEST, Fla. – Today, Libertarian Party of Florida Chairman Steven Nekhaila calls for West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James to immediately return civil rights to citizens of that city. By imposing a State of Emergency and nighttime curfew […]


June 3, 2020

Contact: Steven Nekhaila,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida

KEY WEST, Fla. – Like most Americans, we watched in deep sadness as the sad events unfolded this weekend following George Floyd’s brutal death under the knee of Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin on May 25. What began as noisy, non-violent protests quickly devolved into violence, looting, and the all-to-familiar excessive law enforcement response. Now there are more deaths, both protesters and law enforcement.

We share the anger and outrage over this senseless death. No person should ever die while in the custody of law enforcement. While law enforcement officers certainly may defend themselves against injury, their job is not to protect themselves, it is to uphold the common law and to protect individuals from harm.

This past weekend, the son of Miami-Dade Libertarian Party Chair Marialexandra Garcia and his friend attended the protests in downtown Miami. As the gathering grew increasingly violent, Miami-Dade police started firing rubber pellets and tear-gas into the assembled.  During the confusion that followed, the friend was struck in the throat by a rubber pellet and may need surgery. Just for holding a sign.

Damage to private property is no way to vent anger in response to wrongful acts. Vandalism and Looting are crimes. Ace Hardware, Target and AT&T were among more than 300 businesses damaged or looted in Minneapolis last weekend. Not one of those businesses or their staff killed George Floyd. Not one.

We understand the anger in the face of overwhelming injustice. This pattern of systemic suppression of African Americans repeats itself from the horrors of slavery right through to recent deaths at the hands of law enforcement. There remain few hammers out of poverty for African Americans, and little recourse against excessive and even brutal policing. Even the person’s right to seek civil damages against unconstitutional police acts was stripped by the courts in the 1970s.

These protests are nothing new for many of us. We saw the same images on grainy televisions back in the late 1960s when African Americans tried to break through those poverty walls during the Civil Rights Era. Peaceful, non-violent protests often grew into looting and burning followed by militaristic police responses. Today, we may have better TV Screens, but they still show the same images.


Little Recourse

Victims of violent policing have little recourse. The Civil Rights Act of 1871 was supposed to provide the public civil recourse against the unconstitutional wrongdoings of public officials, including law enforcement.[i] However, the law had many loopholes and was often difficult to uphold.[ii] Even some court decisions in the 1960s reinforced citizen’s ability to sue law enforcement.[iii] Yet those legal protections were effectively gutted in the mid-1970s when the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the concepts of “qualified” and “absolute” immunity from lawsuits.[iv]

In essence, the Supreme Court held that absolute immunity shields prosecutors and other officials from being sued while performing their duties, regardless of their honesty or the ramifications.[v] Qualified immunity protects police from brutality lawsuits as long as they were performing their duties in good faith. It required the plaintiff to prove systemic misconduct; an isolated act of misdeed was protected. This was a pretty large loophole that freed many police regardless of death and damage from their acts.


A Start

On Monday, Libertarian Congressman Justin Amash (MI-3rd) proposed the Ending Qualified Immunity Act which would end the Supreme Court’s decisions to allow police qualified immunity from civil recourse to their actions. This would require the courts to stick more closely to the intent of 1871 act and grant citizens greater opportunities for remedy.

“The brutal killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police is merely the latest in a long line of incidents of egregious police misconduct,” Amash wrote his colleagues this week. “This pattern continues because police are legally, politically, and culturally insulated from consequences for violating the rights of the people whom they have sworn to serve. That must change so that these incidents of brutality stop happening.”

The Libertarian Party of Florida endorses Amash’s proposal as a step to right decades of wrong. Since its creation in 1987, the LPF supports the civil rights of every man woman and child in the United States. The LPF supports the right of any person to peacefully speak out against what they believe is injustice and to seek relief when they believe they are wronged. We hope few will disagree.

– By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer


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[ii],  p 6 -8



[v],  p 8


June 1, 2020

Contact: Steven Nekhaila,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida

Key West –

As most Florida businesses are opening the exception remains bars and night clubs serving alcohol. According to the market research organization IBISWorld, this impacts more than 3,000 Florida businesses which remain closed. Thousands of bar owners, waitstaff, bar staff, cooks, accountants, vendors and landlords are still out of work, denied incomes.

The Libertarian Party of Florida condemns this action. We see no evidence SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes the COVID-19 illness) attacks establishments serving alcohol but not those which don’t. This is unfair and unequal treatment under the law since all businesses can practice social distancing and other safety policies.

Social distancing steps recommended by the CDC can work without denying Floridians their income and livelihood. You’ve already heard those steps many times: keep your distance from others, wear gloves and maybe a mask, wash your hands, and if you’re sick stay home. Those rational steps clearly contribute to emerging successes in South Korea, Japan and Finland. People who are now getting medical care before it becomes life-threatening. Mortality rates show signs of leveling as a result.

As peace-loving and educated folks, Libertarians everywhere in the world believe in informed free choice and responsible free will. Virtually all Libertarians do “the right thing” in this outbreak by approaching it as a medical safety issue, not a societal problem. We wash our hands, maybe wear gloves and masks to protect ourselves, our families and our friends, along with our business associates and customers. And yes, we want to make those choices ourselves without draconian government intrusion.

The LPF calls on Gov. DeSantis to allow all businesses to open and let Florida function again. Thousands of Floridians need to get back to work and should not be denied the opportunity of earning an income just because of their career choices.


– By Macy John, Staff Writer


May 25, 2020
Contact: Steven Nekhaila,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida

KEY WEST, Fla. – The Libertarian Party of Florida congratulates Libertarian presidential running team Jo Jorgensen and Spike Cohen in the first-ever national political convention conducted solely online.

More than a thousand Libertarian Party delegates attended the two-day Convention this past weekend. The gathering ended Sunday but will be reconvened in in-person in Orlando for business meetings this July. Party veteran Jo Jorgensen was nominated as the Libertarian presidential nominee following four rounds of elimination voting. Jeremy “Spike” Cohen was chosen as her running mate after three rounds.

Steven Nekhaila

“This was a historic event that will go down in history as the combination of forward thinking and ingenuity to elect a Presidential and Vice-Presidential nominee in the age of COVID-19,” said LPF Chair Steven Nekhaila. “I am very proud of our Florida delegation and team for doing our part. I am also pleased with the support of the Libertarian National Committee staff for helping to make this a reality. We are excited to support our nominee’s and bring a third real option to constituents in all 50 States including Florida this November!”

A total of 54 Florida delegates and 16 alternates participated in the voting. Nationwide, 1,026 delegates voted to elect Jorgensen, a senior lecturer in psychology at Clemson University. Jorgensen, 63, was Harry Browne’s running mate in 1996. Florida delegates favored Georgia neighbor John Monds in early rounds, they supported party stalwart Vermin Supreme in the final round.

Floridians favored Cohen throughout the three vice-president ballots. Cohen, 37, was initially slated with presidential candidate Vermin Supreme. Supreme fell off the rounds and Cohen went on to the vice-presidential win.

For the most part, the two-day online event went smoothly. Some technical issues and confusion about participation persisted, but failed to prevent the thousands of votes.

“I think overall things went well for a first-time event,” said delegate Chris Jones, vice chair of the LPF Alachua County affiliate. “I think the Florida delegation did a phenomenal job using a separate app for communication and coordination. The Zoom interface definitely did leave much of the delegation somewhat out of the process.”

– By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

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April 21, 2020

Contact: Steven Nekhaila,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida

KEY WEST, Fla. – The Libertarian Party of Florida endorses the American Revolution 2.0 March for Freedom and urges all Libertarians to join with them in Tallahassee May 1 to call for an immediate end to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “Safer at Home” mandate. Growing numbers of organizations, along with state and local officials, are calling for an end to draconian shutdown which threatens more lives than COVID-19. More and more Americans will go hungry soon if they no longer have a job to support themselves. Currency will become increasingly worthless as more is printed to provide welfare to more and more Americans.

The AR 2.0 Florida Rally will be held May 1 at 2 pm on the steps of the State Capitol. Similar AR 2.0 rallies will be held nationwide that day. For more information, visit their webpage or their Facebook page.

Steven Nekhaila

“This economic destruction needs to end immediately,” says LPF Chairman Steven Nekhaila. “The longer this goes on, the deeper our economy will collapse. Jobs lost, employer’s door shuttered, bank accounts emptied, none of that is helping. The longer this goes on, the deeper we get. What does work is sensible adults going about their lives. Those sensible adults take responsibility their own health and the health of their loved ones while practicing safeguards from those who are irresponsible.”

Nekhaila said the LPF supports any call for the shutdown to end, but AR 2.0 stood out. “What impressed us about AR 2.0 is their commitment to safe distancing, face masks and other safeguards while raising their voices demanding for the state’s economy to open up.”

“We’re excited to have the Libertarians join us,” said AR 2.0 organizer Josh Ellis. “What we really want people to get out of this is that more and more people are realizing that government is not going to take care of them. They need to stand up and take care of themselves.”

Libertarians believe adults can think for themselves, even in a pandemic. Armed with information from their doctors, adults are free to protect themselves from the contagion, or defy it. Equally informed adults know not everyone is as cautious as they are so they know to safeguard themselves from those others. Only by having a healthy, thriving economy can Americans protect both their health and their livelihood.

Since 1974, the Libertarian Party of Florida stands for peaceful personal freedom. The LPF believes society functions best when individuals are free to make choices, not governments. The LPF webpage is

– By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

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April 3, 2020

Contact: Steven Nekhaila,

Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida


Downtown Palatka

LPF Responds to Gov. DeSantis’ Safer at Home Order


KEY WEST, Fla. – If you live in Florida, you are now in state-mandated lock-down. Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Executive Order Numbers 20-91 and 20-92 although signed on April 1, were certainly no jokes. As of midnight, free movement and free commerce is severely restricted for the entire state. While he hasn’t called out the National Guard for every street corner, DeSantis referenced passages from the Florida Constitution and Statutes granting him the authority to do so.[i]

The Libertarian Party of Florida condemns this action. Evidence shows enforced lockdowns do not curb the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the COVID-19 illness. Intelligent responses to medical issues do work without shutting down society as DeSantis has done.

Evidence shows rational steps promoted by government can work without creating the record-high unemployment we have now. You’ve already heard those rational steps many times: Keep your distance from others, wear gloves and maybe a mask, wash your hands and if you’re sick, stay home. What we’re seeing is those rational steps are contributing to emerging successes in South Korea and Japan, along with Finland. Certainly, there are cultural and mindset differences, but those countries have largely approached this manufactured “crisis” in a voluntary, supportive way, not authoritarian.[ii]

South Korea offers a good example.[iii] Within the first week after the case of COVID-19 was verified, government officials met with manufacturers to urge them to scale up manufacture of test kits. Within days, government employees were testing on a greater scale than the United States has performed to date. Numerous testing sites were quickly set up to avoid choking hospitals. Results were available within hours, not days.

People who needed it, are getting medical care before it becomes life-threatening. Once a new case is identified, the person is immediately placed under direct medical care. Everyone in contact with those ill people are identified and tested, and re-tested in a few days. In some cases, medical workers urged quarantine for those who were in immediate contact. Mortality rates stayed low.

In addition to those direct measures, the South Korean government played a role in keeping citizens informed and educated. They recommended – not mandated – facemask wearing and social distancing. A responsible population agreed and complied.

South Korea did not resort to shutting down their society to the degree DeSantis has mandated for Floridians. Korean stores, restaurants and schools were kept open. That country addressed the issue as medical, not economic.

As peace-loving and educated folks, Libertarians everywhere in the world believe in informed free choice and responsible free will. Virtually all Libertarians do “the right thing” in this outbreak in that they approach it as a medical safety issue. We wash our hands, maybe wear gloves and masks to protect ourselves, our families and our friends, along with our business associates and customers. And yes, we want to make those choices ourselves without draconian government intrusion.

The Libertarian Party of Florida calls on Gov. DeSantis to rescind 20-91 and 20-92 and let Florida function again. DeSantis had the opportunity to lead the nation in responsible steps to stop a medical issue without stopping Florida. He chose the latter.


– By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

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[i] Essential Services and Activities During COVID-19 Emergency

[ii] Our World in Data: Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) – Statistics and Research

[iii] New York Times: How South Korea Flattened the Curve


March 23, 2020
Contact: Steven Nekhaila,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida


COVID-19 Measures May Pose Greater Risk Than COVID-19

If we’re not working, how are we going to pay taxes to raise money to hand out to people who aren’t working?


KEY WEST, Fla. –  We live in challenging days of late. Pandemics, and rumors of pandemics, have us on edge. Grocery stores picked clean. Hospitals filling. Travel increasingly limited. Sources of income dry up. What do we do? How do we get by?

State and federal officials responded in the only way big government seems to know. Restrict trade and commerce. Borders are now closed to many. Curfews have been imposed. Bars, restaurants and other private businesses are ordered closed. Thousands of paycheck-to-paycheck workers now have no paychecks coming in. Unemployment claims mount.

What then, is government’s response to that fiscal pandemic it created? Print more money and hand it out. Hand it out to huge corporations; hand it out to you and me. Where does that money come from? You already know the answer: you and me. But then if we’re not working, who’s going to pay taxes to raise money to hand out to people who aren’t working?

Answer: No one. The federal deficit grows as quickly as the presses roll.

How did we get here?

By all reliable accounts, COVID-19, often known as “coronavirus,” has the potential of serious impacts among some groups – those over 70 and those with compromised immune systems. Since the first few dozen cases were reported by Chinese medical officials last December, there are more than 300,000 confirmed cases world-wide according to Johns Hopkins University. That’s 0.005 percent of the world population. Of those infected, about 16,000 have resulted in fatalities, about 4.5 percent.

In the United States, more than 35,000 cases of COVID-19 have been identified so far since January, about 0.008 percent of the population. Of them, almost 500 resulted in deaths or about 1.5 percent of all identified cases. In Florida, the numbers of reported cases are about 1,200 cases, 0.005 percent of the population. Of those, 13 resulted in deaths, slightly more than 1.7 percent. These numbers are increasing rapidly as testing becomes more available.

Any illness, let alone those leading to death is tragic. Tragic for family, friends, co-workers and classmates. The so-called “Spanish flu” of 1918 (which actually began in Kansas,) infected 40 percent of the world’s population and killed an estimated 50 million people. Indeed, every year, “the flu” will kill more than a half-million people worldwide. The mosquito-borne Dengue fever infects 50 to 100 million people every year, killing about 2.5 percent of those who are treated. Untreated, it can kill up to 20 percent.

It goes without saying for most of us that when there’s any contagious disease going around, we need to practice common sense. Wash your hands, stay away from sneezing people, practice safe sex, wash your hands again. Admittedly, some people need to learn these basics and government and media can play an important role with recommendations and updates.

Where are we now?

But the real illness that will kill the US economy and perhaps many people, are measures to restrain “non-essential jobs and commerce” in the guise of public protection. Even Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, a Trump loyalist, announced last week U.S. unemployment could rise to 20 percent, worse than the 2008 recession. It’s important to remember those unemployment numbers won’t rise because folks are out sick, but because government created them.

The Stock Market has already crashed well below 2008 levels. Indeed, during President Trump’s press conference last Thursday, the Dow Jones dropped throughout the entire broadcast. After a brief surge, it plummeted again. The same thing happened the next day. Investors don’t trust Washington to respond rationally and thoughtfully. Nor should we.

Where do we need to be?

Responsible adults can slow the spread of a disease, but taking away their rights and our jobs will not. Such steps will only worsen the alarm. They make day to day existence even more challenging than it already was for many. Smart people stay home if they are sick or afraid of becoming sick from others. Careless people won’t. Smart people will know there are careless people out there and will take responsible actions to protect themselves and their families. That’s the job of every individual. Not the government.

Libertarians espouse a world where folks are free to make smart choices and careless ones. Should careless acts endanger others, then “community” can step in with guidance. This is individualism, not statism that we have now. It is the natural way of things.

– By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

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Feb. 27, 2020

Contact: Steven Nekhaila,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida


Orlando – Brisk winds were no match for the flames of freedom at the Libertarian Party of Florida’s Annual Convention and Business Meeting last weekend.

Nearly 100 LPF Members, including 74 voting delegates attended the two-day event featuring debates among nine LP candidates for President and Libertarian National Committee Chair, along with breakout sessions and LPF Officer Elections. Fifty-four LPF Delegates were chosen to represent Florida at the LP Presidential Nominating Convention in Austin this May.

“I was pleased with the energy and enthusiasm from members, what struck me this particular convention was the lack of intra-party schisms,” said party chairman Steven Nekhaila. “We united as the Underdogs and clearly are set out to shake up the political landscape. Our Party continues to grow more professional from the bottom to the top, and our mission is clear: become the centrifugal force of Liberty in Florida by effecting policy, getting Libertarians elected, and spreading the philosophy. The Libertarian Party’s core mission is to reduce the size, influence, and expenditures of all levels of government. Our ability to do so has never been better.”

The two-day event kicked off Friday night with the biting humour of C. Michael Pickens, Rob Wentz and Seminole County’s own Shaun Kunz.

But with no doubt, the highlight of the weekend was Saturday night’s LP Presidential Debate. A packed house had the opportunity to gain insight into nine of our LP presidential candidate’s stances. Coupled with light moments, the live stream has been viewed by more than 4,200 people.

“Winning the “toy soldier” ballot afterwards was Jacob Hornberger of Texas collecting more than 25% of the vote. A close second was John Monds of Georgia.

Hornberger, a lawyer from Texas, is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation, a non-profit libertarian educational foundation. An author or co-editor and contributor of 17 books, his newest book is “My Passion for Liberty.”

Sunday’s morning’s debate among three candidates for LNC Chair: Mike Shipley, Joe Bishop-Henchman, and Joshua Smith. Smith, of California, was the attendees favorite.

The weekend was filled popular breakout sessions and guest speakers, including Saturday’s Liberty in Action presentation by Newberry Mayor Jordan Marlowe, Altamonte Springs Commissioner Jim Turney and Seminole County Commission candidate Andre Klass. Each spoke to the importance of Libertarian messaging whether serving in office or on the campaign trail.

“Libertarian candidates can have a message that resonates with voters so our challenge is to reach the voters with our message,” said Turney. “Canvassing precincts and meeting voters face-to-face is our path to success.”

Wes Benedict, former executive director of the Libertarian National Committee, presented a motivational if not challenging history of LP candidates elected over the years. It demonstrated Libertarians in non-party races get elected. The notes were in line with Nekhaila’s Vision 2020 which seeks to retain at least 10 elected LPF Members in office.

“Our work is cut out for us this year,” said Nekhaila,  “we have a lot on our plate to take advantage of the opportunities the Republicans and Democrats keep giving us, with further encroachments on our freedom and more and more disenfranchised voters looking for a political home and a third, principled option, the Libertarians stand proud. We are looking for volunteers to step up and help take us to the gold medal. We are seeking principled candidates to run in winnable elections to move forward Libertarian policy. And we are in need of enthusiastic Party members who can help form or grow a local affiliate to be the local beacon of Liberty in their counties. Please reach out to us if all of this appealing. If you do not have time to participate, your donations allow us to do all of the above and more, a monthly donation is the wind that keeps our sails consistently moving forward. As the only growing political party in the United States, we are the best investment you can make politically.”

Saturday and Sunday, Delegates elected their LPF team of officers for 2020. They are:

Chair: Steven Nekhaila (Current)

Vice-Chair: J Mark Barfield

Secretary: Ed Appler

Treasurer: John Olivadoti

Director At-Large 1: Suzanne Gilmore (Current)

Director At-Large 2: Davie Parrish

Director At-Large 3: Nivine Zakhari

Region 1: Spenser Garber

Region 4: Jordan Bosserman, Alternate 1: Joe Moraca

Region 5: Michael Cassidy, alt. David Salisbury

Region 7: Tegan Joseph, Alternate 1: Jonathan Loesche, Alternate : Jon-Luc Tesky

Region 8: Bryan Zemina, Alternate 1: Jon-Luc Tesky

Region 9: Donna Olivadoti, Alternate 1: Warren Clark

Region 11: John Thompson

Region 13: Lee Korotzer, Alternate 1: Omar Recuero, Alternate 2: Marc Tancer

Region 14: Josh Curtis, Alternate 1: Dennis Misigoy, Alternate 2: Mike Kane

Rules Committee: Tony Sellers (Chair), Philippe Cadorette and Chris Rose


– By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

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January 21, 2020

Contact: Kyle Green,
Candidate, Columbia County District 1

Contact: Steven Nekhaila,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida

Kyle Green, Candidate for Columbia County District 1


Lake City, Fla. – When LPF Colombia County Commission Candidate Kyle Green arrived at the start of Lake City’s Martin Luther King Day Parade Monday morning, the last thing he expected was being accosted by his opponent’s wife. But that’s what he found.

“I wanted to be in the parade to show my civic pride,“ said Green, a Lake City salesman. “So many politicians show up to these events only to get votes. I wanted the public to know I care their community and Dr. King’s message.”

Green said soon after moving into position in his truck bearing his Vote Kyle Green for County Commissioner for District 1 “Breaking Barriers, Building Futures” sign, a man approached him questioning the sign. In a video of the confrontation, Green responds “It says ‘for county commissioner,’ it means I’m running for county commission.” “Oh,” the man said and walked away.

But after the man conferred with several people nearby, they began raising their voices. When Green asked about their concern, one woman is heard to say “It is a big issue because you’re not county commissioner of District 1.” The woman was Gwen Williams, wife of Green’s incumbent opponent Ron Williams. “I don’t give a damn if it says ‘to county commissioner, it is misleading.”

It is Mrs. Williams who sought to mislead. Florida Statute 106.143 clearly states that a non-incumbent, non-partisan candidate must use the word “for” and may not use the word “re-elect:”

Additionally, such advertisement must include the word “for” between the candidate’s name and the office for which the candidate is running, in order that incumbency is not implied.

Green said when he’d applied for the parade permit, he made it clear he was appearing as a candidate. His application was approved. Although Ron Williams later told the Lake City Reporter political advertising was not allowed in the parade, Green said he was never informed of that when his application was approved.

Green said it was obvious Mrs Reynolds wished to politicize an apolitical event. “It was clear she was unhappy to see an opponent.

Green says yesterday’s confrontation illustrates how out of touch local commissioners are with the public. Each commission district has a budget carry-over which is often used to curry favor with voters – and not respond to public need.  Williams supports increasing restrictions against firearm ownership and even gun seizures. “I’ve a had a lot of folks come up to me who said they used to support him, but now they support me because of that.”

Green is one of the leaders in Columbia County, along with Libertarian Party of Florida At-Large Director Davie Parish, seeking Columbia County to be declared an “A-2 Sanctuary” county to protect rightful gun ownership. Other campaign planks include cannabis decriminalization and local business development.

Green can be reached on Facebook @Kyle Green for Columbia County Commissioner, District 1 or the web at Green’s Facebook page includes Monday’s entire confrontation.

– By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

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