Were you one of the hundreds of people that packed the Varsity Club at the Citrus bowl, last night? If not, you missed the best chance, I’ve seen to meet and greet with candidates from all of the major races here in Central Florida and some of the big statewide races.
Orange County Mayor Crotty, kicked things off and even, hard to find Dan Webster stayed for the entire event. This along with the usual suspects, I’ve talked about in weeks past, that are running this year.
You see, the thing about the OCYR hob nob is that the crowd is just that…younger. It’s a sharp and friendly group that probably know more about certain issues than most of the candidates…its higher energy, with the age of the crowd ranging from about 18-40 years old. If you’ve ever wanted to get involved, this is the crew to start with. Its a fun, laid back crowd.
I already know all of the local candidates, so I took the opportunity to talk to a statewide candidate for Attorney General, Holly Benson. She’s running in a Republican primary against Jeff Kottcamp and Pam Bondi. I wish, I could say that she won my vote. She walked up and introduced herself to me, beaming with a smile…we exchanged introductions and she asked for my vote. I threw her a softball, hoping she would hit it out of the park “What separates you from your competitors?”. She put on her game face but stuttered “Well, I like to think my experience” and that was it. That isn’t necessarily true Kottcamp and Bondi have stonger resumes. “Well, what are you most proud of in your life? Professional or personal?” she stuttered again..”Did you know, I’m supporting Bill McCullom’s, Healthcare battle?”. I glanced behind me, I was standing in front of the McCullom table, talking to a friend before she stopped by. “Great” I said…but she lost me. She restored her smile, shook my hand, and moved on. I don’t know, I’m a scary lookin’ dude, maybe I scared her. She’s A nice woman, but not the top attorney in the state.
Now for those of you, who are wondering, who I am supporting for Attorney General, at this point that would be Pam Bondi.
Don’t roll your eyes! So, shes smart and happens to be attractive, lets move on….seriously guys…jeez!.
I flew threw the straw poll, networked with some friends and the candidates and the results of the poll, were announced. I’ve posted some of the results and some free hyperlinks to some of the candidates sites as my small way of saying thanks for supporting the YRs.They worked really hard.
Analysis: You give Kurt Kelly a microphone and put his hard working team in the room and he’s probably going to win. Sidebar conversations stop and by the time he’s done everyone is fired up. Todd Long’s name recognition, and one on one skills with the voters delivered another great showing. Dan Webster was third but this was a
“young” Republicans meeting, and his team worked pretty hard too.
Analysis: The most uncomfortable moment of the evening was when they read Sandy Adams 80, first and her crew cheered because they thought they had won, only to find out they came in second. Young Professionals admire other successful professionals Like Karen Diebel, that have job solutions. This is also the second time in a year, that the younger crowd has chosen Diebel and she appears to be the prime choice for the next generation of young conservatives. Did I just use a Pepsi catch phrase from the 80′s?
Mike McCallister – 21
Bill McCollum – 188
Rick Scott – 79
Analysis: They saw past the smoke cloud, that money can buy. I did say that this was the sharpest group, you’ll find at a hob nob, right?
Analysis: You see!? She won! Now get off my back because I’m supporting the hottie!
Analysis: Jason Brodeur was playing “an away game” and still won, easily.
Analysis: A battle of the Davids before they face Goliath
Analysis: You thought Falconer, didn’t like Jacobs before this? Who knows what he will do now!
County Commissioner, District 5
Ted Edwards – 93
Doug Kinson – 58
Robert Shelby Talley – 10
Analysis: I guess those signs are working! (see previous post)
Anyways, the whole night was a blast. OCYR President Eddie Fernandez, Rob Gidel, Christina Dixon, Matthew Klein, Christian Waugh and about a dozen other people deserve all the credit for putting on, one of the best events you’ll see all year.
Thats how you throw a Hob Nob!