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Broken Promises, Body Cams, Among Hot Topics During Candidate Forum

HERNANDO BEACH – On Thursday, the Hernando Beach Property Owners Association hosted a political forum at the Hernando Beach Yacht Club, featuring candidates for County Commissioner, Sheriff, State Senate, and many others. Former County Commissioner Candidate Mike Fulford moderated the event, and it went off without a hitch.

During the event, candidates were asked tough questions on issues like, property taxes, development, abortion, and the Second Amendment. Follow this LINK to watch some of the highlights.

If there was an elephant in the room, it was the two incumbents who didn't feel it was necessary to face their opponents or respond to questions by Hernando Beach residents. Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis doesn't think his opponent Joe Puglia is "viable", so he doesn't feel it's necessary to acknowledge his candidacy. R News asked Nienhuis numerous times if he would debate Puglia, but he refused to respond. Some say it might be because Puglia is offering to be more fiscally responsible, transparent, and will bring body-worn cameras to the agency, something Nienhuis vehemently opposes.

State Senator Blaise Ingoglia did not attend the event but his Democrat opponent, Marilyn Holleran did. Holleran answered questions on late-term abortion and gun rights. Holleran opposes late-term abortion but could not specify at what point she would it would be acceptable. When asked about gun rights, Holleran said she wouldn't take away your right to own a gun, but she opposed the ownership of AR-15-style rifles.

Commissioner John Allocco was blasted for vowing to leave office after two terms but campaigning again for a third term. A member of the audience asked him why he decided to run again, and he said, "I changed my mind." That response was met with grumblings from the audience.

The candidate running against Allocco for County Commissioner, Republican Marvin Baynham captured everyone's hearts with a passionate response to an audience member's question about his conservative values. When asked why he switched from Democrat to Republican, Baynham answered with a history lesson on how the Democrat Party preyed on black Americans and developed a welfare state. Baynham said, "I know throughout my candidacy people will try to discredit me as a Republican, but what about Ronald Reagan, he was a Democrat." Baynham asks voters to judge him on his work, value, and merit.

Follow this link to watch the full live-stream video on Facebook.


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