Ridge Manor, Fla. – Spirits were on high as the candidates charged into battle at the east side candidate forum.
Ridge Manor Home Owners Association held a campaign forum for candidates whose name will appear on the General Election ballot in November. Lynn Gruber-White opened the forum by laying out the ground rules for the candidates.
Candidates for Florida House, District 35 showed a distinct difference in campaign platforms. Rose Rocco jumped on the stump to show she is the people’s candidate. Hamilton Hanson proclaimed to be Constitutional candidate, talking about the 10th Amendment. The business candidate, Blaise Ingoglia pledged to produce jobs for Hernando County.
Hernando County Commission candidates were a mixed bag. Several sounded more like school board candidates than for the county commission. Jimmie Lodato emphasized the need to pass the Penny for Projects for children, while Dan Oliver drifted off base to discuss the merits of apprenticeship programs for the school district.
An audience member asked County Commissioner Wayne Dukes about reinstating impact fees. He didn’t shy away from the issue, saying it is a likely possibility impact fee reinstatement fee will be dealt with after the General Election.
Hernando County School Board, District 1 candidate Mark Johnson was the most animated in his speech while boasting about his endorsements. Don Whiting delivered his business approach to running the school district while leaning on the podium in a relaxed manner.
Hernando County School Board, District 5 candidates offered no clear distinction in their campaigns. Susan Duval spoke about her years as school district employee while Robert Neuhausen discussed his work as a school volunteer. Duval and Neuhausen did not present their plans for the future if elected to office.
At the end of the forum, refreshments were served to give the audience ample time to speak with the candidates.