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The Villages
Saturday, July 30, 2022

Residents-First candidates vs. Developer-First candidates

Scott Fenstermaker

A Community, Not a Resort Hotel.  Unfortunately, many residents still have not come to the realization that we live in a community, not a resort hotel. As residents of a community, we should demand government that represents us, not The Villages Developer. Let’s make that happen in the Sumter County Commission.

Residents-First Candidates and Developer-First Candidates.  This year, there are two groups of candidates, all Republicans, running for County Commission.  These two groups are: the Residents-First Candidates and the Developer-First Candidates.  The Residents-First Candidates have been vetted and endorsed by the Property Owners Association and by Fair Government for Sumter, and their campaigns are funded by themselves and friends and independent supporters.  The Developer-First Candidates are being backed, and primarily funded by, the Developer and his suppliers and cronies.  Not surprisingly, the Developer-First Candidates have raised a lot more money than the Residents-First candidates.  So you will see their ads everywhere.  The Developer-First Candidates are also being supported by the Developer-owned Villages Daily Sun in a series of misleading political advertisements thinly disguised as news articles.

The Candidates.  The Residents-First Candidates are:

District 1: Reed Panos–Opposed by Developer-First Candidate: Roberta Ulrich.
District 2:  Andrew Bilardello–Opposed by Developer-First Candidate: Doug Gilpin.
District 4:  Jeff Bogue–Opposed by Developer First Candidate: James Morris.  (Sharyl Anderson is also running for that seat, but she has no real chance of winning.  She consulted with the Developer’s “political fixer” Gary Lester and, while she is not being backed by the Developer, her candidacy plays into his hands since it serves to split the Residents-First vote.  In other words, a vote for Anderson will amount to a vote for Morris.)
District 5:  Daniel Myslakowski–Opposed by Developer-First Candidate: Donald Wiley.
Be Informed.  Because no Democrats or write-in candidates are running (fake write-in candidates apparently having been scared off by a pending federal investigation into the 2020 race), this year’s County Commission race will be decided in the August 23 Republican primary.  It is what is called a “universal primary”, and everybody, regardless of political party, can vote.  Do some research into the candidates, and read the Daily Sun with a healthy dose of skepticism, remembering who owns it. For information  about the Residents-First Candidates, you can click here:  https://www.fg4s.org/2022-candidates

Vote.  Vote-by-mail ballots will be sent out to voters in the next few days.  In the Republican Primary, let’s elect Sumter County Commissioners who represent us–the residents, not the Developer.  (Full disclosure: I am a life-long Republican and hold no position in the POA or Fair Government for Sumter.)

Scott Fenstermaker is a resident of The Villages.

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