With Election Day approaching, I wanted to take a moment to read some tea leaves and render predictions.
Here are my projected winners for Pasco County races (* = Incumbent):
Clerk of the Circuit Court – Paula O’Neil (R)
Sheriff – Bob White (R)*
Superintendant of Schools – Steve Donaldson (D)
Supervisor of Elections – Pat Carroll (D)
County Commission, District 1 – Ted Schrader (R)*
County Commission, District 3 – Ann Hildebrand (R)*
County Commission, District 5 – Jack Mariano (R)*
Presidential Race – John McCain
Pasco County tends to be a Republican stronghold, but this year I see some mixed results coming. Especially because of the early voting push by Democrats and the Obama campaign.
The biggest surprise I am showing is Steve Donaldson beating Republican incumbent Heather Fiorentino for Supervisor of Elections. She’s had some morale issues with teachers, leading to having teachers picket school board meetings. In an environment already tough for the GOP, I am looking for an upset here.
The only other Democrat that I am predicting to win is in the Supervisor of Elections race where Pat Carroll is running against Republican “incumbent” Brian Corley. Corley was appointed by Governor Crist to fill a vacancy when former SOE Kurt Browning was tapped to head the Florida Division of Elections. Since this is the first time voters are casting ballots for either candidate, I think the Democratic tide will help Caroll.
That tide, however, is not strong enough to lift the boats of Democrats running for the County Commission.