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Former REC Member Censured After Resigning, Claims Corruption is Rampant

SPRING HILL – A former member of the Republican Executive Committee (REC) resigned last week, stating he can no longer tolerate the level of corruption among its members.

Combat veteran and former candidate for Hernando County Commissioner Mike Fulford says he's been a registered Republican for 44 years and considers himself to be a patriot and true conservative. Fulford also serves as a commissioner for the Hernando County Planning and Zoning Committee and was an active member of the REC, but that changed last Thursday after Fulford decided he could no longer be part of the "puppet show."

In a message to the REC on June 13th, Fulford writes, "The purpose of this message is to communicate my resignation from the Hernando County Republican Committee. As a 44-year registered Republican, I can no longer tolerate the favoritism, nepotism, and quid pro quo behavior that I have witnessed within the organization. This is not the Republican Party I joined, nor is this REC representative in spirit of the National Republican Party. I will continue to remain active in conservative causes that benefit the whole of Hernando County and Florida residents."

REC leaders didn't take kindly to the surprise development by one of its own, so in response, they decided to "tar and feather" Fulford during a meeting at Northcliffe Baptist Church earlier this week.

Fulford tells R News that he did not attend the meeting and was unaware of a motion made by State Representative Jeff Holcomb to censure him.

Fulford says the actions taken by the REC were retaliatory and inappropriate since he was no longer a member of the organization. In a letter to REC leadership Fulford writes, "...I was not in attendance, but I am being told secondhand that no allowance was made for the discussion during the motion? Factually, I had already resigned via electronic message transmitted to Acting Chair Nick Holmes and State Committee Woman Mary Mazzuco that the resignation was effective the date of the message 13 June 2024. Contrary to the bylaws, I was not notified of the charges, supporting evidence or notified to attend the meeting as a non-member."

Fulford is demanding the REC turn over the Charge Sheet, all supporting evidence, and a formal letter of censuring. If the REC refuses to provide that documentation, Fulford says he may be forced to take legal action against the organization.

Claims of nepotism within the Hernando County Republican Party have been echoed by residents and local political candidates for years. Many believe there is an indisputable hierarchy of corrupt Republican leaders who some say resemble that of an organized crime family. Starting from the top down, the leader of the "mafia" is believed to be State Senator Blaise Ingoglia, who ironically gained notoriety for his "Government Gone Wild" videos. Ingoglia's father, Andrew Ingoglia, began dating the current Supervisor of Elections, Shirley Anderson, who is now embroiled in controversy over two candidates who may not qualify for the upcoming election. Ingoglia allegedly handpicked four of the current Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), Brian Hawkins, Jeff Campbell, Beth Narverud, and John Allocco, and two of the School Board members, Shannon Rodriguez, and Kayce Hawkins (Commissioner Brian Hawkins' wife). Ingoglia launched now-State Representative Jeff Holcomb's career after hand-picking him to serve on the BOCC. Ingoglia is a staunch supporter of Sheriff Al Nienhuis, whose daughter happens to be a legislative aide for Rep. Jeff Holcomb. The list goes on.

Left, Blaise Ingoglia, Right, John Allocco

Beth Narverud and Blaise Ingoglia

Fulford isn't the first to be snubbed by the REC. During the 2022 election cycle, former Dawn Center executive April Johnson hoped to gain Ingoglia's support when she and several other candidates vied for the District 2 BOCC seat. To her surprise, Ingoglia turned his back on her and endorsed now-Commissioner Brian Hawkins. Many believe Ingoglia used Dawn Center as a prop to pander to the female democrat vote. Ingoglia even served as the board's president and attended fundraisers with Johnson who was promoting the #METOO movement.

"Politics is the marketplace of favors. Hernando County Politics is no exception. Demonstrated behavior from our current elected officials makes me question whether voters are getting the return on our tax dollars that we deserve, "Says Fulford. "The questionable behavior of political leaders is what we should be concerned about. Voters be informed when you enter the ballot box in August. We deserve the government we elect."

 
 

Reader Comments(1)

Localviewer writes:

Is this why nothing is getting done besides selling off all the land for new development? These roads are a mess, there are traffic jams forming on side streets. Northcliffe is like a third world country. The only thing done in my area for the past year is they put a new layer of asphalt down over the side street. The street is already flaking and has grass growing through it. Great job. Half the businesses and buildings aren't used on 19. Spring hill has turned into an endless suburb of new development mixed with urban blight.

 
 
 
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