The special election to replace the deceased Jim King is just around the corner so it’s time to weigh in on which one of the candidates we can trust to not hinder the growth of the advertising industry. Since we in the advertising realm rely on strong economic growth and the promotion of business, we must back a candidate that will make it easier to conduct business in Florida, not harder and that will keep taxes low so consumers have an incentive to work hard and have more money to spend with our clients. Here is a look at the 4 major candidates for the District 8 seat along with my recommendation on who is best for us in the advertising world.

John Thrasher:

Thrasher is the ultimate political insider.

Thrasher is known more for back room deals and ethics violations than principled leadership. The late Mr. King certainly had challenges but for the most part was respected as a law maker. It’s hard to imagine an ethics-ignoring former lobbyist as the replacement for King.

According to Politics Florida, Thrasher “violated a state law prohibiting a legislator from lobbying a state board on behalf of a paying client. An Ethics Commission report found that Thrasher, a longtime general counsel for the Florida Medical Association, called the chairman of a Florida Board of Medicine subcommittee to lobby against a proposed rule and appeared in person a week later before to advocate for the FMA. The result was a public reprimand on the floor of the House”

“Thrasher was fined $500, a slap on the wrists considering the maximum fine proscribed for the infraction is $10,000. In the course of the ethics committee investigation, it was revealed that one of his appointees to the board refused to recuse herself and actively argued in favor of the low fine. Following the legally proscribed two year wait, Thrasher stepped right back into his lobbyist role, becoming one of the most powerful lobbyists in the state of Florida.”

“Thrasher purchased a small condo to become a resident of the district earlier this year, although he has not yet sold his former home.”

John Thrasher cares more about his own personal power than serving as a principled leader for Northeast Florida. Put a line through Thrashers name on your ballot.

Art Graham:

Art Graham says he stands for lower taxes but as a Jacksonville City Councilman he voted for Mayor Peyton’s new fees TWICE. Mr. Graham talks a good game and if he actually did what he said might be a good choice. But we just can’t trust him in such a critical time. Strike through Graham.

Stan Jordan:

Didn’t this guy JUST get re-elected to serve on the School Board after serving 8 years in the Florida House? Did he accomplish so much in that role over what amounts to less than a year?

Mr. Jordan served his country in the military for 39 years attaining the rank Colonel in the Army and like Dan Quiggle is a successful small businessman. I really like his directness and this quote about public schools is typical Mr. Jordan, “We need to teach people that going to public school is not a right, but a privilege, and if you are going to be disruptive the appropriate action needs to be taken. If we have safe schools and a positive learning environment, we can get and retain quality teachers.”

Stan Jordan seems like a decent choice but I just can’t get over the political opportunism that he is showing after the Senate seat came open and I think his focus is too limited to education. Reluctantly put a strike through Jordan.

Dan Quiggle:

Dan Quiggle has raised less money than his counterparts and is a newcomer to elected office although certainly not brand new to politics as he worked for former President Ronald Reagan in 1989. With no voting record to look at Quiggle is hard to judge on whether he would be an advocate of the advertising industry and the businesses that support it. But the good news is he is a successful businessman that has had to make the same sort of tough decisions that business owners (and families) are having to make in this recession and he seems to have the brightest economic mind of all the candidates. Although it’s anyone’s guess on what Mr. Quiggle’s voting record would have been he has an obvious and direct opinion on higher taxes and government spending, he doesn’t like either.

He served as State Chairman of Americans For Prosperity, a pro-growth organization and you don’t attain that position by hindering business.

If there’s two things we can count on Dan Quiggle for it’s keeping taxes low and less business regulation. As the Federal Government infringes on just about every aspect of our lives we need principled leadership at the state level to at least counterbalance that encroachment and keep Florida competitive.

For that we have a winner: Mr. Dan Quiggle.