Lynum “New Direction” of Campaign Signals Confusion, in Orlando D5 Commission Race

Attorney and Candidate for for Orlando Commission District 5 Juan Lynum is a smart guy but the movement from his campaign during his run has been a confusing one that portrays conflict.

The Orlando Sentinel published a story about the “New Direction” the Lynum campaign is promoting, in front of his run-off with Nurse Regina Hill on May 6th (that story HERE).

We’ll finish with that but let’s start from the beginning.

When Juan first entered the race, his Mother, current long-time D5 Commissioner Daisy Lynum was still in the contest, setting up a Mother vs. Son showdown, which everyone knew wouldn’t happen, but forced his campaign to get a late start against challengers that had already been campaigning for months.

There was also his curious behavior with Candidate forums. At first, he avoided debating his two other opponents and insisted holding his own events, where he alone would field questions. This gave his Hill and the other opponent in the Race Cynthia Harris, ammunition for claims that he was ducking voters. He ended up debating his opponents anyways.

There was also the WFTV story about Lynum using stickers to change his mother’s campaign signs to his own (a move I actually thought was kind of clever) and even though it was perfectly legal, Lynum didn’t talk to reporters. If he wasn’t going to defend his tactics, he just should have bought new signs (that story HERE).

Finally, we come to the “New Direction” his campaign is taking. He stood in front of a church full of voters about two weeks ago and reinforced his Mother’s policies, many of the cities existing policies, and promoting many of the venue projects in the City. One of his supporters include the Orlando Magic who will construct a Multi-Million Dollar Entertainment Complex across the street from the Amway Center.

This gave the voters a clear choice. Stay the course with a member of the Lynum family as Commissioner, or go a different route with one of the other two challengers.

Then came election day and Lynum got the most votes, but not enough votes to avoid a run-off with Hill. And with an endorsement from Cynthia Harris possibly coming he could be in trouble. Harris was called a “thugh” by Daisy Lynum when she dropped out.

Then came this New Direction from Gentrification to Preservation and Revitalization”.

This is the desired effect of the strategy. Flip on your donors, change positions, and try to attract as many of Harris’ voters as possible to win the run-off. When you win, revert back to your old positions and go pat your donors on the back.

But, this latest story just demonstrates more confusion. Should you have to re-define your campaign in the run-off?

But closing as I finished. Juan Lynum is a smart guy. He knows a lot. He could talk about hard policy and outperform the competition. Specifics about economic development. Specifics about solving the homelessness problem. Numbers. Solutions. but for some reason he hasn’t.

Instead it’s the latest unforced error of his campaign (and we haven’t even spoke of the FDLE Residency Investigation). If he loses then there will be plenty of things he could have done differently to have delivered victory.

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I’ll be Retiring from Politics at the End of the Year

After long discussions with Friends and Family, I’ve decided it’s time to walk away from Politics.

When this year’s elections are decided, that will be it for me. It’s time.

You see, when I started getting involved politically years ago, it was about helping people. It wasn’t about covering debates and big political events, it was simply about making the community around me better. I haven’t done that the way I’ve wanted to.

It’s time to fix that.

I’m going to finish my television obligations, Orlando-Politics.com will go on sale and be re-branded by the new owner. I am proud of it, and it will give someone in the community a very powerful voice.

What’s next for me?

I will keep Blogging. It’s what I am. A Blogger. I believe it’s the right tool for what I want, but I’ve been using it on the wrong project. I’m going to do more features about good news and positive work on a different site. It’s time for me to stop writing about what people have been doing wrong, and time to start writing about what people have been doing right.

I’ll be on the Speaking Circuit and Hosting Events. I’ve got some great programs lined up. It’s different being up in front of an audience, as oppose to a camera lens. There is a positive energy and excitement, that I’ve always found to be more rewarding. The Political Forums and Discussions I’ve participated in have easily been the best part of this time, and it wasn’t because of the topic but because of the people.

I’m want to start a family. It’s an emptiness I feel when I wake up in the morning, and when I go to sleep at night. It’s never gotten the attention I’ve needed to pay it. When it’s all over, it’s family that will love and miss you the most when you’re gone.

So there you have it. The job isn’t over yet however. We’ve got some really exciting elections coming up. You know that feeling you get when you’re on the last stretch of a roller coaster, or during the last 15 minutes of a movie you’re really enjoying? That’s where I’m at.

I’m going to take in every second of it.

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Hartage Supports Earned Sick Time in New Radio Ad for Orange County Commission 6 Bid

Former County Commissioner Homer Hartage is one of the 5 Candidates, vying to replace termed out incumbent Tiffany Moore-Russell this year in District 6, and he’s hit the radio to reach voters.

Take a listen.

It’s a bold Ad. He’s calling out members of the existing board and he pledges to work on bringing Earned Sick Time back, even though it’s been nullified at the state level.

Hartage is competing against Business Owner Derrick Wallace, Metro Plan Director Virginia Whittington, Commission Aide Roberta Walton, and Businesswoman Victoria Siplin in the competitive contest.

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Video: Crist Crashes Lopez-Cantera Press Scrum, Challenges Scott to Debate

How do you get ambushed by Charlie Crist?

That’s what happened today in Palm Beach, where Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera and his boss’s likely future opponent crossed paths, in what is the most interesting video clip of the year.

Have a look.

UPDATE: The embed player is Auto-Play and you probably find it as obnoxious as I do. You can watch the Ad HERE

A George Costanza moment, where the Lt. Guv has a 100 things he’d say if that whole 30 seconds played all over again. Instead, he got owned in the most polite way, I’ve ever seen anyone get owned in front of a platoon of press.

So what should he have done?

He should have momentarily excused himself from the media, shook his hand and said “Good afternoon Governor, I’m describing to our friends here, how you abandoned the state to run for Senate and will say anything to get elected again”. You have these things planned out.

Instead, Crist told Lopez-Cantera who he would debate and challenged Rick Scott before gliding away, leaving the Lt. Gov with nothing to do but grin.

Is it a big deal. Of course not. But there is a lesson fighters always teach. Always talk about an opponent like he’s standing right next to you. Because one day, he will be.

He’s Back! Gary Siplin to Challenge Thompson in State Senate District 12 Race

An unexpected bombshell, in a race that has gotten little press up to this point.

It appears the White Fedora has returned.

Former State Senator Gary Siplin has filed to run in State Senate District 12, and will challenge incumbent and fellow Democrat Geraldine Thompson according to reports in the Orlando Sentinel (story HERE) and made official in the candidate listing on the state website.

Citing a hunger from the voters for another run, the former State Legislator who served 12 years during his previous tenure, sets up what will be one of the more interesting primary battles here in Central Florida.

You’ll recall Thompson defeated Siplin’s Wife Victoria for her seat in 2012 (she’s running for Orange Commission D6 now). He’ll have to tap his old fundraising resources to make up for the headstart Thompson has. As of today, she’s got 70K in the bank.

He’s also been making the rounds in the political community lately. I’ve spotted him at recent County Commission District 6 and Orlando City Commission 5 forums.

Siplin is well known for making headlines while in office, from FEC investigations regarding his past campaigns, to news-friendly legislation like his “Droopy Drawers” bill, which made it mandatory for kids to pull up their pants in school, he gives the media a lot to talk about.

It’s going to be an exciting contest.

Gary Siplin State Senate 12