The Alachua Political Insiders Panel was conducted 1/15/2018-1/17/2018.
Alachua County Insiders offer their predictions on the Gainesville City Commission races, local ballot initiatives, legislative issues, gubernatorial races, and more. The Alachua Political Insider Panel is an invitation-only expert panel comprised of an equal number of Republicans and Democrats and a few Independents who will offer expert analysis, opinions, and predictions about political issues facing Alachua County.
Panel members are recruited for their intimate knowledge of Alachua County Politics. All members will be acknowledged publicly; however, to promote candor, all answers are collected anonymously using Meer’s online software and cannot be attributed to an individual member.
The Alachua Political Insider panel is a non-probability sample, but it is an interesting look at what political insiders are thinking.
EverBlue and Meer jointly writes the survey questions, and panels will be conducted with increased frequency as elections approach.
Insider participants for this panel are: Roger Austin, Ed Braddy, Todd Chase, Dean Cheshire, Cynthia Chestnut, Thomas Hawkins, Adrian Hayes-Santos, Clay Martin, Jeanna Mastrodicasa, Wallace Mazon, Sherrie McKnight , Tammy Prince, Winston Rushing, Remzey Sammarrai, Nathan Skop, Helen Strain, Matt Surrency, Jeremiah Tattersal, Ron Thornton, and Harvey Ward.
Partisan Composition: 11 Republicans, 9 Democrats, 2 undeclared/incompletes
2018 Gainesville City Elections
2018 Gainesville Ballot Initiatives
2018 State Politics
Florida Legislative Session
What do you think will be the number one issue in the 2018 session?
Answers are provided verbatim – nothing has been changed.
- The integrity of the institution of the legislature itself due to the subcurrent of issues, fallout, and worry about who will fall next as a result of sexual misconduct allegations.
- politics, not government or the budget or what it’s supposed to be about
- Congressional races
- Revoking home rule
- Healthcare reform
- I don’t think anyone knows
- Sexual Harrassment
Please explain your reasoning for your answers. Reminder, you were asked about: the Gainesville City Elections, the Gainesville Ballot initiatives (GRU and moving elections). the 2018 Florida Session Gov Scott’s intentions Speaker Corcoran’s intentions
Comments are provided verbatim – nothing has been changed.
“City elections will move to fall. There shouldn’t be much of an organized opposition and with it being on the fall ballot, those voters will want it in the fall. It would have a smaller chance of passing if the election was in March as those voters would lose power.
GRU is going to be a tough issue on the ballot, but since only City voters are voting they will not want to give up power of their utility to unelected non city board
Legisture is still focused on stopping more liberal cities from passing laws with preemption legislation. I don’t see a change in this as they are in the picked of business lobyist.
Scott will run but being tied to trump will hurt him.
Trumps endorsing in the governors race changes things. Not sure what will happen. ”
What Scott will do is not and has not been a mystery for years……it’s just not official yet cuz there is no reason for him to officially announce his candidacy until after Session is over. Almost the same with Corcoran, but the DeSantis candidacy, and polling, may give him pause. Due to the above and the general political environment in Fla and the USA, this is why the Session will be about politics and not government or policy or the budget or about me or you. It will be about politicians jockeying for political advantage…..more than usual.
Combination of gut, experience and tea leaf reading.
Anti Trump sentiment will be peaking so congressional issues will take the lead. Moving elections polls well and the City will spend a lot
of money to save GRU. Scott is many things but not irrational. He’s running for US Senate. Corcoran will try to outflank Scott on the right and use immigration as a wedge issue.
I follow local politics and think my information is based on historical behavior and the current political environment. Same with state politics.
My reasoning is based mostly on instinct. I have not read up too much on any of the issues, so it is based mostly on what I’ve picked up in the news over the last year or so. I think incumbents have the advantage on the GCC races
– “No” is an easier answer to a complicated question and it will be complicated.
– March elections are absurd.
– Speaker of the House is a political graveyard unless you lead Lil Marco’s charmed life.
Gainesville City Elections
I think Gail Johnson is a fresh alternative to the current Commissioner, who has not established a great record of being productive. However, I cannot tell you what her platform is? I think being an African American Woman, who is polished an articulate will bode well for her in West Gainesville.
Charles Goston’s base views him as ‘someone who has tried to deliver for his community, unfortunately he appears to have a
Commission who will not work with him on any issues.’ More importantly, this Commission will not help him with East Gainesville,
when the “Friendship 7 Report” shows that East Gainesville is in desperate need of help.
Gainesville Elections Ballot Issue
I don’t think citizens want to see City Commissioners with four year terms. I am very interested in hearing public discussions on this issue from City Commissioners and the opposing Commissioner, who feels this will further disenfranchise minority representation.
Gainesville Ballot Issue and GRU Ballot Issue – sorry I answered the ballot issue first.
GRU- a campaign geared towards the previous City Comissions irresponsibilties on the Biomass issue. The public was not well
represented by our elected officials on this issue. A Board made up of people with a business background may serve the community better and be singularly focused on utilities.
Gov Scott’s intentions. I think He has been running for the Senate every since his last election. He appears to be vibrant and Bill Nelson
appears as a very elderly and tired representative. Again, I cannot tell you any one thing Senator Nelson has worked on and delivered for this community, other than perhaps funds for the University of Florida. Not one thing for East Gainesville in 18 years! He should have stepped aside for a younger more vibrant Democrat to run. Of course, no one has been groomed for his seat. As much as I dislike Scott, when I hear his name, I know his i issue is ‘jobs.’
Speaker Corcoran – I don’t think he has the name recognition outside of political nerds.
I have been around the city awhile and I think it’s just logic. Ultimately anything can happen but I feel like this is the direction of the City of Gainesville and the state of Florida.
The Gainesville City Elections are already decided by the deals being made within the city and the citizens. The city and county
commissioners have not told the truth to the citizens, so they will vote on what they have been told. Moving the elections will allow students to vote, which are mostly Democrats, so the County and City of Gainesville will remain “stable” in their minds. Healthcare is the talk of the town. Every meeting, social event, and even at work, healthcare is talked about everyday. People want reform but they do not understand the current Act. They rely on the media instead of reading it for themselves. I am very confident that both Governor Scott and Speaker Corcoran’s intentions are to run. I do believe that Gov. Scott thinks that he has the race in the bag, but I believe the Republicans want that seat and will fight for it. We just need to make sure that there is good voter turnout. Speaker Corcoran’s intention is to run and will announce this soon. He has done some wonderful things as Speaker of the House, so this will be a hard decision for the common people to make a commitment.
While there is growing support for ousting the incumbents locally, they have name recognition and a large base that will ultimately help push them over the top.
The thought of creating more government and an added layer of uncertainty won’t sit well with voters as well as Tallahassee telling
locals how to run their utility.
Moving the local elections will increase voter turnout regardless of how informed they are on local issues. Given the fact that Gainesville
leans left and this change will benefit the incumbents would show support of moving the elections.
HB7069 will linger into 2018 with not much meaningful legislation being passed during this session it will continue to be the dividing
factor for campaigns.
Scott and Corcoran are just waiting until after session to announce their candidacy. It’s all about raising money for their PACs before
becoming a candidate.
City and ballot ? Is simple math do the numbers D vs R.
Coriander and Scott are already committed
The Florida political wins right now….
I think that Ron DeSantis’ entry into the governor’s race is why Richard Corcoran won’t run.
I’m guessing on the local elections because I’ve seen no information on any other candidates except Budd and Goston as they are incumbents. Gov. Scott is the best candidate to defeat Bill Nelson and the buzz says he’s going to run. Speaker Corcoran has been
positioning for Gov for many months.
Poisonous political atmosphere for republicans, Trump backlash similar but inverse of 2010
GRU electric rates/Gerrymandering