Englewood Indivisible August 2018 Primary Ballot Recommendations

Ten members took part in the online meeting on endorsements on Friday evening. We decided that, given the arrival of vote-by-mail ballots, we would make recommendations to our members, rather than continue with our slow endorsement process. Here are the recommendations we agreed on.

Note: Statewide offices and the 17th CD Congressional races are at the end, as they are the same for both counties. Please also note that choices for those registered NPA will be those listed under “All Ballots” for each county.

NEW: There are downloadable postcard-size recommendations for each county at the end of this document!

Sarasota County All Ballots

Circuit Judge 12th Judicial Circuit, Group 12

Maria Ruhl 

She has been endorsed by Progressive Sarasota and informal advice of political “insiders” have preferred her.

School Board Member District 1

Nick Guy

We voted to endorse Nick Guy, who is running against incumbent Bridget Ziegler. He is a strong supporter of public education, while Ziegler is a proponent of charter schools.

School Board Member District 4

Shirley Brown

We endorsed Shirley Brown, the incumbent, who is a stalwart champion of public education

and a safe school environment.

School Board Member District 5

Jane Goodwin

We endorsed Jane Goodwin, the incumbent, who is being challenged by 3 candidates.

She has served since 2010, has introduced technology training and fine arts courses to

 the curriculum, and represents all FL School Boards in the legislature.

Sarasota County Democratic Ballot

Board of County Commissioners District 4

Wesley Anne Beggs

We voted to endorse Wesley before we were aware that her late-filing primary opponent entered the race. He came to our Meet and Greet on the 26th and was quite aggressive, hardly convincing us to reconsider.

Sarasota County Republican Ballot

Please note: We did not discuss Republican primary choices at the meeting. Advice in this section has been volunteered by members.

State Representative District 74

As of now, we have no positive recommendation, but only point out that James Buchanan might be an easier opponent for our endorsed Democratic candidate Tony Mowry to take on.

Buchanan didn’t run a very good race against Margaret Good last winter.

Board of County Commissioners District 2

Alexandra Coe

This decision is based on research of Coe’s and her opponent Christian Ziegler’s websites. Ziegler’s site echoes Trump’s most radical positions. Coe’s talks of local issues. More here.

Board of County Commissioners District 4

Lourdes Ramirez

Ramirez is a local business woman. She talks of limiting development until the necessary infrastructure is in place. In the last election, the Republicans took a picture of her and took it out of context and made contributions in her name to Democrats.  Her site is about local issues, while her opponent, incumbent Al Maio, talks vaguely about what he’s done on the board.  More here.

Charlotte County All Ballots

Charlotte County School Board, District 1

Cara Reynolds

Cara Reynolds is an experienced teacher in Charlotte County and a strong supporter of public schools.  Her main opponent, Geri Waksler, is a land-use attorney who represents developers -- most recently the Mosaic Company in its (losing) effort to mine potash in DeSoto County.She also founded Charlotte Academy, a charter school.  A third candidate filed at the last minute and is viewed by some “insiders” as intending to force Reynolds and Waksler into a runoff.

Circuit Judge, 20th Judicial Circuit Group 8 

James Wesley Chandler

One of our members has researched both candidates and concluded that he was the most direct and articulate about his judicial views.

Airport Authority District 2

Rob Hancik

This race is between two Republicans, but it appears as a “universal” primary on all ballots. One person who researched this race concluded that Julie Price was mainly focused on specific projects.

Charlotte County Democratic Ballot

It appears that there are no contested county or district races for Democrats.

Charlotte County Republican Ballot

Please note: We did not discuss Republican primary choices at the meeting. Advice in this section has been volunteered by members.

State Attorney 20th Judicial Circuit

The only thing found on Crowley was that Roger Stone (the crazy friend of Trump) endorsed him!  Amira Fox looked like a good candidate.

Board of County Commissioners District 4

Yesterday the Charlotte Sun had a big story on incumbent Deutsch getting big campaign donations from companies aiming to profit on the Sunseeker development. One researcher suggests a protest vote for opponent Tom Sullivan.

Airport Authority District 4

No recommendation (yet)

Both Counties’ Democratic Ballots

US Congress District 17

April Freeman

Although not a strong candidate, she has name recognition, while her opponent is an inexperienced newcomer.


Gwen Graham 

All seven Democratic candidates are well-qualified and share our values, but Graham has the best name recognition and the most high level government experience, having served two terms in the US Congress.

Part of our discussion about the governor’s race concerned the endorsement of another candidate made by the National Indivisible office at the request of the Indivisible Action Tampa. It is important to note that this endorsement does not come from or represent Englewood Indivisible.

Attorney General

Sean Shaw

While both candidates are well-qualified and experienced, Shaw has the benefit of having served in the state legislature, and his opponent has legal issues with campaign donation rules.

Commissioner of Agriculture

R. David Walker

Walker is by far the most qualified and experienced candidate, as he is a marine biologist and has served at the US Geological Institute. Additionally, he was a founder of Indivisible Broward!

Both Counties’ Republican Ballots

Please note: We did not discuss Republican primary choices at the meeting. Advice in this section has been volunteered by members.

US Senate

Scott is a nightmare and “Rocky” has run for office in 7 different states. Apparently that’s his thing.   Leave blank?

US Congress District 17

Steube is guns, NRA,  guns.  Some Dems want him to win because they think he will be easier to beat in 2020.  Atkins is super right wing.   All 3 candidates fight over who is more pro-Trump.  The least horrible is probably Gonzales.


Not a lot of info out there on any of these except Putnam and DeSantis.  If you watch Fox news, you always see DeSantis defending Trump.  Thus, Trump has endorsed him.   Putnam is the establishment Republican choice, although he made some horrible pro-NRA comments.  Putnam is recommended as an anti-Trump vote.

Attorney General

Ashley Moody might be a good choice, although she is pro-Trump all the way.

Commissioner of Agriculture

Again, lots of NRA endorsements here.  But Mike McCalister got an F rating because he didn’t return their questionnaire, so a vote for him might be wise, as he has little chance to win the primary.

Contact Englewood Indivisible at EnglewoodIndivisible@gmail.com 

This document is published online here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vQxRTVfzhRrg887FSiNcs_yPxniTELdKS2mEIxAr4PYFlmh8FIceVGP_JXvPhi0Vht4gzBqrU91JX9S/pub 

Sarasota County Recommendations  postcard size. Download here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_gUVJzu_pasgJXEHBljff99zIa4fPj_X/view?usp=sharing 

Charlotte County Recommendations - Postcard size. Download here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cQVsQ7I14gWi7CzILg2n_7wOZxraQtsR/view?usp=sharing