Thursday, July 12, 2012

Campaign roundup for Marion County Florida

Published: Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 8:46 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 8:46 p.m.
Candidate forum set for sheriff, County Commission
Marion County Farm Bureau will host a candidate forum for all County Commission and sheriff candidates at 6:30 p.m. on July 26 at the Marion County Extension Auditorium, 2232 NE Jacksonville Road, Ocala.
All Marion County residents are invited. Questions will focus primarily on agricultural issues.
Firefighters union, FOP endorse Blair for sheriff
The Florida State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police and the Florida Professional Firefighters have both endorsed Chris Blair for Marion County sheriff.
Citing Blair’s 35 years of law enforcement experience, the Fraternal Order of Police expressed confidence in a statement that Blair will lead the Marion County Sheriff’s Office “with confidence and integrity.
“He will bring focus and solid leadership for all the citizens of Marion County who demand quality law enforcement services,” said the statement, penned by James W. Preston, president of the FOP.
Blair also picked up the endorsement of the Florida Professional Firefighters union.
“We believe that you will honorably serve the citizens of Marion County and the interests of the men and women employed in the Fire and Emergency Medical Services, who have made the protection of life and property their life’s work,” wrote Gary Rainey, president and CEO of the organization.
Family group, Bachmann, Paul Ryan endorse Stearns
The Family Research Council Action PAC endorsed Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Ocala, for Florida’s 3rd Congressional District on July 3. 
Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council Action, issued the following statement about Stearns:
“Congressman Cliff Stearns is a leading advocate for the family and the unborn in Congress. We are particularly encouraged by Representative Stearns’ willingness to fight for the unborn by opening a congressional investigation into the illicit activities of Planned Parenthood. We will continue to work with Congressman Stearns as he exposes the truth about this organization.”
Stearns also picked up the endorsements of two high-profile members of Congress, Michelle Bachmann, R-Minnesota, and Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin.
“Cliff Stearns was one of the first members from Florida to embrace the tea party, speaking at our rallies in D.C. and in Florida,” Bachmann said in a statement. “He is steadfast in supporting the tea party agenda and I endorse his election in Congressional District 3.”
Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, was equally enthusiastic in his support of Stearns.
“Cliff Stearns supported my budget in every session of Congress and believes in balancing our budget and restoring fiscal responsibility in Washington. I’m proud to endorse Cliff Stearns for election in Congressional District 3.”
Sept. 11 support group comes out for Jett
Third Congressional District candidate James Jett recently received the endorsement of a foundation that supports police, firefighters and other first responders who were injured as a direct result of their rescue, recovery and cleanup efforts at the World Trade Center site following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
John Feal, who runs the Fealgood Foundation, made the endorsement in a YouTube video saying, “Jett is a far better choice than Rep. Cliff Stearns,” another candidate for the newly drawn, open seat. While throwing his support to Jett, Feal also delivered a strong rebuke to Stearns of Ocala, who crafted legislation that requires the names of police officers, construction workers, firefighters and other personnel who are eligible for the health benefits be run through a terrorism watch list.

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