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The Villages
Thursday, October 6, 2022

Republican Club donates $15,000 to trio of commissioners feeling heat of challengers

The Sumter County Republican Club has donated $15,000 to three incumbent Sumter County commissioners feeling the heat of primary challengers this August.

The club has donated $5,000 each to Villagers Steve Printz, Don Burgess and Al Butler after the Sumter County Executive Committee voted last week to endorse the three incumbents.

In District 1, Butler is facing a challenge from Village of Amelia resident Gary Search. In District 3, Burgess is being challenged by Villager Craig Estep, a Community Development District 1 supervisor. And Printz, in District is being challenged by Villagers Oren Miller and Daniel Myslakowski.

Don Burgess, Al Butler and Steve Printz, from left.

The Villages Republican Club President Jerry Prince in an email announced the $15,000 in campaign contributions to the trio of incumbents. 

In the email, Prince suggested the county commission challengers did not understand the nuance or need for the 25 percent tax increase approved last year. The commissioners’ public hearings on the proposed tax increase drew huge, angry crowds this past September at Savannah Center.

Jack Gaenzle, of the Village of St. James, told Sumter County commissioners this past September that The Villages Developer should foot the bill to extend Buena Vista Boulevard.

Prince also took a swing at the media.

This information of 25% was reported by many non-reputable Medias or as President Trump calls them ‘Fake News,’” Prince wrote in the email.

The trio of incumbents are also backed by the Developer of The Villages and the tax increase pushed through last year was seen as a sweetheart deal for the Morse family, as it pushes development south of State Road 44.

Burgess and Butler have each paid the $3,534 fee to be placed on the ballot, after their failure to collect the necessary number of voters’ signatures. Their opponents wrapped up the signature collection process earlier this year and did not need to pay the fee.

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