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COLUMN

Happytown

Just like you, beleaguered television viewer with your eyes crossed at the incessant parade of political noise bom-barding your brain, we are so ready for this election cycle to be over.

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Governor: 
Michael Arth (NPA)

Yes, we know: Arth has neither money nor experience, and the book How to Build a Robot Army is on his coffee table. But keep this in mind: The guy pretty much single-handedly converted a DeLand drug slum into a legitimate neighborhood within the span of a year. His ideas are actually his own, and not only that, they’re good ideas. Given that Alex Sink left us underwhelmed, and that Rick Scott is, well, Rick Scott, we’re giving ourselves permission to follow our hearts 
on this one.

Attorney General: 
Dan Gelber (D)

Gelber is a whip-smart former federal prosecutor and a legislator with an impeccable record. Republican Pam Bondi is a right-wing puppet who makes guest appearances on Fox News. Gelber, please.

Chief Financial Officer: Lorranne Ausley (D)

This office is too important to throw away to Republican Jeff Atwater, a former banker and current president of the Florida Senate who appears to be too cozy with business-as-usual in Tallahassee (and its lobbyists) for our taste. Ausley is a career public servant who has a plan to clean up insider deals that sully the statehouse. We can get behind that – and besides, aren’t bankers the reason our economy is in the toilet these days anyway?

State House,

District 34: 
Steve Barnes (D)

Steve Barnes is a reasonable Democrat, but make no mistake: This is our plea to keep Republican Chris Dorworth away from the Speaker’s seat in 2014. Dorworth’s unfamiliarity with our nation’s supreme legal document – he co-sponsored an unconstitutional ban on abortions – makes us shudder. It’d be like having our own Christine O’Donnell
 calling the shots.

State House, 
District 35: 
No endorsement

While we wish that we could actively endorse novice Democrat Amy Mercado in this race, her apparent lack of any tangible dynamism on the campaign trail makes us wary. If only the Democrats could have produced a real spoiler for incoming, ethically challenged House Speaker Dean Cannon. Inevitability is a bitch.

State House, District 36: 
Scott Randolph (D)

This is a no-brainer. Randolph has been one of the only well-educated voices in the House for two terms, peddling policy over politics even against the odds granted the Democratic minority. His main challenger, Greg Reynolds, is a Log Cabin Republican with a moderately wooden platform.

Orange County Mayor: 
Bill Segal

With the long, strange mayoral trip pared down to an establishment Democrat (Segal) and an establishment Republican (Teresa Jacobs) – though this is a nonpartisan race – our wits are with Segal. Jacobs may come off as smarter, but she has been evasive on human rights issues and doesn’t seem equipped with the forward motion the county needs. Also, we’d rather drink with Segal.

State Constitutional Amendments

No. 1: Yes

This isn’t a stance we would have expected to take if you’d asked us a couple of years ago about Florida’s plan for public financing of campaigns for politicians who agreed to spending limits, but the plan isn’t working. Special interests are still able to spend their way into office. And it’s costing us lots 
of money. Need proof? See: Bill McCollum vs. Rick Scott in the 2010 gubernatorial primary.

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