Orange County Young Republicans Hob Nob 2012: Straw Poll Results and Photos

Another election cycle, another terrific Hob Nob by the OCYRs.

Hundreds of voters filled the Varsity Club at the Citrus Bowl to meet elected lawmakers and candidates for office on every level Thursday night in an evening filled with politics, food, and prizes.

Hosted by State Representative Stephen Precourt, the Hob Nob saw top Republican officials in Central Florida addressing the crowd and shaking hands. Honored Guests Daniel Webster and Teresa Jacobs attended as well as Congressman John Mica, and Sandy Adams, State Rep. Scott Plakon, and OC Commissioner Ted Edwards. There was also one Democratic candidate who made the bold decision to spread his message to the members of the opposite party and was well received.

There was also the straw poll that indicated which campaigns had the momentum moving into mid-July.

Let’s break it all down.

John Mica wins Straw Poll in CD7 race:

Congressman John Mica took %70 percent of the voting in the OCYR straw poll. His campaign presence was all over the venue with volunteers at the door and a fully staffed table. He stayed for the entire event and took the opportunity to meet everyone that approached him.

His opponent in this fierce primary, Sandy Adams also attended but only stayed for a short time. Adams also released her endorsement from former VP candidate Sarah Palin last night.

Both candidates have a strong following by the OCYRs and Central Florida Republicans in general. This is only the latest round in a family fight that has Conservatives all over the 7th district taking sides.

Orange-Osceola State Attorney and Democrat Lawson Lamar attends and is well received.

In an equally intense contest candidate Lawson Lamar crossed the line into what some consider enemy territory last night.

With no Republican in the contest everyone will vote in the State Attorney race that pits Lamar against his former prosecutor Jeff Ashton, of the Casey Anthony trial.

Lamar also stayed for the majority of the event and had no problem communicating his non-partisan, crime fighting message to the voters. Ashton was also invited but did not attend. Some of his campaign operatives were seen networking but declined comment to media.

All in all a successful risk for Lamar that saw him earn hundreds of votes outside of his party.

Julius Melendez wins CD 9 Straw Poll:

The fireballer from Kissimmee was able to pull out a straw poll victory over Osceola Commissioner and former State Rep. John “Q” Quinones. The winner of this primary goes to political war with controversial former Congressman Alan Grayson.

Straw Poll Victories

Eric Lasso won his straw poll for Orange County Commission District 3. Kelli Stargel won her contest for State Senate D15, and “The Bow-Tie” Jim Huckeba won the straw poll for Orange County Tax Collector. He’s vowed to eliminate the position and reassign responsibilities in a tax dollar saving initiative.

Here are some photos from the event.

Attendees cast their ballots. Credit to OC Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles for running a fine poll.

State House Candidate Dr. Bob Brooks

Hundreds packed the Varsity Club last night

Jim -the bow tie- Huckeba won his straw poll contest last night

The crowd looks on as the event kicks off

Florida House Rep. Stephen Precourt did a fine job hosting

Guests were treated to food, drink , and a chance to talk issues with candidates

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs

County Commissioner Ted Edwards and OC Property Appraiser Bill Donegan

Congressman John Mica won his straw poll last night

A terrific event that allowed candidates and voters to come together and talk about the issues that affect our everyday lives. Thanks to all that attended and the candidates, sponsors, and guests that made it all possible. On to November!

The brilliant committee of OCYR’s that made it all possible

Lemieux Doubles Down on Mack Attack, Concerned with Character

On a Friday afternoon phone call with Florida Bloggers, Former Senator George Lemieux reiterated his concerns with GOP rival Connie Mack IV past.

“I believe that we’re operating under a case of mistaken identity that the fourth is the first” referring to Mack’s famous family name.

Lemieux also brought up Mack’s past concerning earmarks, an issue hot off of the national debate stage, where Rick Santorum woke up the “boo birds” Wednesday, defending legislation that included earmarks. He also cited a history of violence with Mack’s past, bringing up incidents involving the Congressman.

“I firmly believe that if he were to win the nomination he would have a very difficult time winning the election. With this 20 year rap sheet Connie Mack couldn’t get a job as a police officer, a teacher, as a bank officer. So, why in the world should we elect him to the United States Senate” Lemieux said on Friday.

When asked if this would come down to Mack’s past vs. Lemieux’s past relationship with former Governor, and Republican turned Independent Charlie Crist, Lemieux said it was about “putting the best players on the field” through a critical vetting process. He also reminded those on the call, that he endorsed current Senator and GOP rising star Marco Rubio, the day after Crist left the party and Mack didn’t do so until several weeks later.

I asked if there were any plans for a formal debate, where both candidates would be on stage at the same time, and so far nothing has been set. Lemieux went on to say he welcomed the opportunity and would discuss these issues “any time and any place”

The one takeaway from the race this week, has been Mack’s silence. I would like to see more aggression from his campaign. He’s been raising dollars and stumping for Mitt Romney but, one sided conversations like these aren’t working now, and they won’t work against Bill Nelson in a general election.

Lemieux launched an aggressive campaign attacking Mack's character this week

Photos: Mitt Romney in Ormond Beach

It was a beautiful Sunday night in Volusia county, and supporters cheered for GOP Presidential Mitt Romney as he kicked off the Florida leg of his campaign.

Coming off a rough week that saw him take second place in South Carolina, Romney took aim at frontrunner Newt Ginrich, calling him a failed House Speaker, and flawed leader. His was accompanied by his wife of 42 years, Ann and introduced by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. Occupiers tried to crash the event but, were quickly shooed away.

It was a great evening to be outside and it’s hard to imagine a better start for the Romney campaign to rebound in the Sunshine State.

They turned out early for the Romney rally in Ormond Beach Sunday night

Romney being introduced by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi

Romney talked Policy, Obama, and Gingrich

It was hard to imagine better conditions on Sunday night

The venue was at capacity

Romney took his time after the event, taking laps along the crowd line and doing interviews

Boston Herald Article: Analysts: Rick Santorum could get ‘huge boost’

A 2nd Boston Herald Article featuring analysis from your grateful local analyst. I’ve got to throw some more love out to the local Orlando Journalist and Opinionators that make this sort of thing possible.

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A strong showing in Iowa by Rick Santorum could propel the former Pennsylvania senator back into the spotlight and give him the momentum to pose a stiff challenge to Mitt Romney as the pair head into early primaries in key Southern states, analysts said.

“Santorum could get a huge boost out of Iowa,” said Georgia-based Republican strategist Joel McElhannon. “I think Rick Santorum could become a very significant factor.”

Santorum, an early dark horse in the GOP primary who has flailed in polls, funneled much of his campaign’s resources into Iowa in a bid to build early momentum. But Santorum has largely ignored New Hampshire, has scant financial resources compared to Romney and has virtually no presence in South Carolina and Florida, where the race shifts after next week’s Granite State primary.

“His biggest challenge is he has no organization outside of Iowa,” McElhannon said. “He’s going to have huge logistical challenges to overcome.”

Still, some pundits believe Santorum could emerge as a viable conservative alternative to Romney in Southern states, especially in conservative strongholds concerned about the former Massachusetts governor’s right-wing credentials.

“The real question is, what if Santorum or (U.S. Rep. Ron) Paul catch fire and do well in South Carolina?” asked Florida GOP strategist Frank Torres. “Neither has an operation here in Florida. But that could change.”

A Democratic strategist added: “Santorum’s big problem is money. But he’s in the ball game.”

Article by Dave Wedge

Mitt Romney will win Iowa. Prediction for Tuesday’s Caucus

Before making the shakiest of political predictions watch this. It inspires.

That’s how you become great indeed.

Mitt Romney is going to win the Iowa Caucus tomorrow. Why? There are a dozen reasons, but the main one?

Frustration.

Bachmann, Perry, Cain, Gingrich, Paul, and now Rick Santorum

Bachmann? Peaked too soon, no substance behind her message.

Perry? If I showed the “oops” video anymore, it would be the 2nd most posted video on this blog besides……

heh, heh

Cain? Troubled past

Gingrich? Troubled Strategy

Ron Paul? Troubled..

And now, in what is turning out to be the cruelest twist of fate and politics, Rick Santorum.. Rick Santorum is now the anti-Romney candidate that could pull off the upset. I’ve been mocking Santorum for months. He’s lived in the lost column of political blogs so long, that he’s starting to collect equity. He’s skittish, unsure, and at times just plain terrified of running for President.

But, his platform is strong in Iowa and he’s been busting his tail.

He’s not going to win though. You see Iowa, like a lot of Republicans all over the country are tired. They just want to beat Obama, man. Romney gives them the best chance to do that and if they can get over the fact that this is a weak field and pick him, it would make the whole process easier.

Heck, they might even get Chris Christie or Marco Rubio on the ticket.

So Mitt Romney, who strolled into Iowa like a cool breeze, days and weeks after his rivals should win tomorrow. But hey, it’s Iowa and they’ve had seven changes at the top of the polls over the last few months. Nothing will surprise me.

Mitt Romney will win Iowa.

Will Iowa finally warm up to Mitt Romney