The event was set for 11:30 a.m. but got off to a late start due to the unexpected crowd who did not RSVP. They only had three tables set up in rounds of 8. So the crowd of about 40 had to wait for more tables to be set up and the food as well. Just when they were about to get the program started, Sheriff Morgan stood up and announced that he had to leave early, but didn’t want to be rude to the candidates by walking out.
Each candidate had five minutes to introduce themselves. The went in alphabetical order.
Sam Archer talked out how he was born in Baptist Hospital and his daddy was a judge and served as justice of the peace and momma was involved with the church. He rambled for over five minutes of his work history and UPS where he worked on logistics — the MC had to stand up next to him to let him know that he was going on too long. All he said about why he was running is because the north end doesn’t get its fair share and he wants to bring jobs. Didn’t say how he would accomplish that, but at the very end of the event, while answering another question, he said that he wasn’t going to release his campaign platform because others candidates may steal his ideas and put them on their platform. (Beam me up!).
Glen Archer talked about his mom and dad and how he was born and raised in Pensacola. Said he was in the TV/Radio Business for a number of years. He didn’t offer any campaign ideas of why he is running except he’s a small business owner who had to go through a lot of red tape and regulation to open his business three years ago. He didn’t say what business (but I think it’s a bar on N. 9th Avenue). He said that he had to get a permit to put in a deck and every three weeks, he has to pay more to keep that permit going. (I didn’t understand that line of thought). He said he wants to work on bringing jobs to the community.
Steve Barry said he was a product of District 5 having gone the elementary, middle and Tate High School and getting an accounting degree from UWF, and now a financial planner. Barry spoke about his community and civic involvement and serving on the Escambia County Planning Board, PEDC, Escambia County Schools Foundations and some other non-profits. He gave three points as to why he is running and listed them. He was the only candidate who offered a campaign platform.
Jim Taylor said that he was a product of Escambia County and he’s coached a lot of “youngins” in youth baseball. He’s been a teacher for 27 years in the Escambia County School District where he currently serves as a social worker the last 10 years. He said that education matters to our “youngins.” Then he talked about the jobs he had growing up including winning the Newspaper Carrier of the Year six times. He worked at Gilmore Moving and Storage, worked at the Port and then became a teacher. Didn’t have specific plan but wanted to bring jobs into the community.
Other candidates who are running for office included who had a chance to speak at the end.
Sheriff Morgan – Left early
Wilson Robertson – said he served in district 5 for 8 years and he’d like four more years in District 1 to finish a lot of capital projects that are going on in the county. This will be his last election.
Jesse Casey – said that he would like to send his good friend Wilson Robertson into a early retirement and he’s running for County Commission, District 1.
Vicky Campbell – Said she’s running for ECUA and she’s helped put “a lot of people in the room into office” and she hoped they would do the same for her.
Pam Childers – Said she’s running for Clerk of Court and said she has a financial background and mentioned her current job at the city.
Gene Valentino was there and talked about sitting next to his good friend Wilson Robertson on the BCC and looked forward to working with whomever is elected. Then he said Gov. Rick Scott is a big supporter of NW Florida and they raised X amount of dollars for him recently at a fundraiser. Said Scott really cares about us.