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New Candidates Could Threaten 'Puppet Show' if Elected

BROOKSVILLE – High taxes, overdevelopment, and overspending are just a few reasons why Hernando County residents say they want new leadership in the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), and they just might get what they're asking for when election time rolls around this fall.

Out of five Republican incumbents on the BOCC, only one commissioner has a voting record that reflects true conservative values, but his lone vote hasn't been enough to stop the others from raising taxes, rubber-stamping budgets without question, and passing an infrastructure plan that will burden taxpayers for 30 years. Commissioner Steve Champion openly criticizes some of the decisions made by his colleagues but there isn't much he can do to change the tide unless two open seats are overturned in the upcoming election.

Candidate Marvin Baynham is running against incumbent John Allocco, who many claim is a "Puppet" for State Senator Blaise Ingoglia and Sheriff Al Nienhuis. Allocco has found himself fighting an unexpected uphill battle against Baynham, who spends his days off as a Tampa Firefighter knocking on doors and sharing his conservative plan to reverse course from the status quo. NPA Candidate Burton Melaugh and Democrat Luciano Vignali are also vying for the District 3 seat.

Chairperson Beth Narverud is also up for reelection this year and until today she only had one candidate running against her. Republican Anthony Arenz filed in October of last year, but his campaign has been relatively quiet and there is speculation that he may drop out of the race. Arenz faired very well against Commissioner Jerry Campbell in the 2022 election, earning 30% of the vote against the favored Ingoglia pick. R News reached out to Arenz today, but we have not received a response.

Narverud may have a formidable challenge against newcomer Ryan Amsler who unexpectedly filed his statement of candidacy this afternoon. Amsler operates Amsler Funding, a statewide mortgage lender and he sits on the Advisory Committee for the Cyber Security Program at Simpson Technical College. Amsler tells R News, "I want to bring back true conservative accountability and transparency to the BOCC. I've lived in Hernando County most of my life and I see how the county is going in the wrong direction. I think residents deserve better."

Commissioner Champion will face off against Republican Pam Everette and Democrat Kathleen Cummings. Neither candidate is expected to have much of an impact on Champion's campaign due to his positive approval rating among conservatives.


Reader Comments(1)

Shawn1402 writes:

Thanks for keeping the voting public informed

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