Had a little help. I credit local pundit Howard Mass, twitter followers like @lb_holly and Le Chat Noire, and other readers who made comments on Seminole Democrat blog. I also researched online, read the mainstream media's choices, and read through the candidate's positions and promises on their webpages.
Only a few actual endorsements, the others are recommendations. I did that because if candidates are very similar in position or ideology, I did not think it fair to endorse one over the other because I didn't use any questionnaires this year.
I linked to the posts I wrote if on the candidates I felt strongly for (or against). With only one exception, I will be doing no individual posts for the judges.
I can also only cover the local races in Seminole County as this process takes time. But if you are a Floridian outside of Seminole County with a question on a candidate or ballot issue for this primary, post in comments or send me a message I'll look into it. One last thing, I am not in any way affiliated with the Seminole Democratic Party.
Strong Endorsement: Charlie Crist
Please read why I did this.
Recommendation: George Sheldon
Very, very tough call. Won't be upset if Perry Thurston wins, but I picked Sheldon for a reason.
School Board Districts:
These are the best offered. Again, I explain why in the link.
Selections for 18th Circuit Court:
Recommendation: Circuit Judge Group 13: Samuel Bookhardt lll
All are qualified and all three are republicans. With things being equal, Sam is a veteran so I started leaning towards him. He is also a minority and we desperately need more minority representation. True that Sanchez is a minority as well but she is very young: not htat I have a problem with a young judge but I, along with Howard, agree that such a young conservative would quickly elevate to a higher position. Sam is slightly ahead in my book, albeit not by much.
Endorsement: Circuit Judge Group 14: Robin Lemonidis
I was leaning for Lemonidis anyway, but when I got the most ignorant mailer I have ever received from judicial candidate Goldfarb, I stepped up my effort to see she doesn't win. This is the only judicial race where I endorsed someone.
Recommendation: Circuit Judge Group 19: Donna Goerner
Howard and I are in agreement that Susan Stacy should scare the bejeebus out of you. She is being loaded with a ton of money and the rightwing really, really wants her to win.
We agree Goerner seems the most reasonable. She was also endorsed by the Sentinel for her knowledge and experience, which includes over 100 jury trials. The problem is, once again, all three are republicans so we have to expect any of them will tow the party line. Howard makes a good case for Mitch Krause by saying Goerner has time to move higher on the bench. I agreed with this strategy or Group 13, but in this case, Goerner is likely the most fair and best qualified.
Recommendation: Circuit Judge Group 23: Nancy Maloney
Nancy used to be a Democrat before she went NPA, which is actually a smart move in this county. Howard pointed out Maloney is 64 and will likely do only one term anyway.
Arcadier is a very ambitious conservative and and none too ethical. He would be my last choice on that ballot.
Seminole County Court Judge
Recommendation: Sandra Rivera
She might be more green but experience doesn't equate to being a good judge (see Scalia and Thomas). She is a registered Dem and we need to support judges that won't be intimidated by Rick Scott or the NRA. We also need more Hispanic judges as the Hispanic community gets no representation on the bench in this County.
This would be an endorsement but I can't fairly do that in this case since a questionnaire wasn't used.
Seminole County Commission
District 2: No endorsement and no recommendation, but I will be voting for John Horan
Jorge Martos is the tea party candidate. I do not want that at all. John Horan is republican but not as awful.
Opposing view: Howard agrees with me on that point but explains why he is pulling the lever for Martos:
Don't really care much although I'm glad they didn't pull the write-in loophole like they usually do. Horan probably sides with us more but I'm going Martos because I didn't like how they did the tax increase. I would have preferred them doing it right by asking in 2012. I know they had to do it because of the school budget being due but have always been turned off by the establishments power.
August 26 is the primary, but early voting is happening now. You also have until OCTOBER 6 to register to vote before the election.