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Allen Whetsell, Craig Funeral’s GM, Latest Of 4 GOP Candidates Vying to Oust Weeks

| March 22, 2012

Kimberle Weeks's weakened position at the Supervisor of Elections office has encoueraged a slew of opponents, among them Allen Whetsell.

Allen Whetsell, the General Manager of Craig-Flagler Palms Funeral Home and a familiar face—and voice—at community events such as Flagler Beach’s parades and the boards of civic organizations, is the latest candidate to join a crowded field of Republicans vying to replace Supervisor of Elections Kimberle Weeks, a Democrat.

Whetsell filed his papers at the elections office earlier today. He joins Trey Corbett, Kimble Medley and Pam Richardson in that race. No Democrats have filed, and none is expected to file. The local Democratic party is choosing to back her rather than field a primary challenger despite her weakened candidacy and checkered history in the office.

“That’s going to be a real, real, tough fight as far as I’m concerned, because it’s not going be an election on the job she’s done, the election is going to be mainly on her involvement with the county commission,” Dan Parham, who heads the Flagler County Democratic Party’s executive committee, said of Weeks. “People don’t like that she has had acrimonious relationships there. I expect that that’s going to be a very, very tough fight. Of course my position is that we need to look at the fact that we’ve had successful elections, and that’s really what it’s about.”

But Weeks is drawing a large number of opponents, including Whetsell, because of record of acrimony and the consequent damage to the reputation of the office.

“It’s time for a professional business person to get involved in politics here in Flagler County,” Whetsell said this afternoon. “It’s time for professionalism and integrity to be returned to the supervisor of elections’ office. I don’t like the contentious atmosphere that’s currently there between the constitutional officers, especially Miss Weeks and the county commission. I think we as a growing community need to be unified in our approach to all government, and that as we continue to grow, we need to educate our people on the voting procedures. I just think that a professional person going in there with a professional working attitude would be a very good thing for the supervisor of elections’ office. That’s why I decided to do it.”

Whetsell, 57, is a native of West Virginia. He’s lived in Flagler County for 11 years. He hasn’t run for elected office before. But he cites two distinctions that make him qualified for the job, whether it’s the execution of the job from a non-partisan basis or his ability to run an office efficiently:  “I’ll approach it the same way I approach my business today. I serve all people—religious or political backgrounds, so that won’t be an issue with me,” he said.


And, Whetsell says he’s been researching how to run the office, noting that his learning curve, because of his managerial background, will be small: he cites his extensive experience working in local civic organizations (the Flagler County Education, the Family Life Center, the Kiwanis Club, the Flagler Auditorium, among others) in combination with his managerial experience as factors that will help in managing the office and its poll workers—and getting along with them. “There are some things that need to be revamped at the supervisor of elections office,” he said, “as far as the public relations and the public attitude toward the office. That’s what I will bring there.”

Beyond the reparation aspect of his objectives for the office, more conservative budgeting and voter education, especially among high school and college students and the elderly, will be a priority, including in-person “outreach” to schools and local colleges “to be sure that children who’ll be the adults and leaders of tomorrow know the importance of voting.” White Whetsell noted the drop in voter turnout in the last election, he was reluctant to attribute it to anything more than a lack of interest in the races themselves: there were no greatly contested races that compelled people to turn out. Nevertheless, he said, “everybody can sit on the sidelines and complain about government, but if they don’t get out and exercise their right to vote, then they really and truthfully don’t have a platform to stand on when they didn’t make their choice known, whether their candidate won or lost. I think that’s part of the supervisor of elections’ position, is to be sure that the word gets out that we do have choices to be made, and everybody has the right to make that choice.”

Whetsell served on the governing board of Flagler Auditorium and the governing board of the Family Life Center. He’s been involved with the Flagler County and the Flagler Beach Chamber of Commerce.  And he’s the governor-elect of the Florida District of Kiwanis International.  He attended West Liberty State College and Fairmont State College and graduated with a Degree in Mortuary Science and Management from the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science.

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13 Responses for “Allen Whetsell, Craig Funeral’s GM, Latest Of 4 GOP Candidates Vying to Oust Weeks”

  1. Kip Durocher says:

    supervisor of elections, sheriff and clerk of court should not be elected positions.
    major flaws in the system.

  2. I still believe I was the most qualified candidate in 2008 http://www.melindamorais.com. More voters need to register and come out and vote in Flagler County. Your Vote Counts!!!

  3. GOP says:

    Weeks has to go. She’s a loose canon and we as a county cannot afford her ..

  4. palmcoaster says:

    Mrs. Weeks has done a good job so far with flawless elections in spite of the opposition and attacks from the right, that she had to deal with. I agree that voters need to come out and vote…not letting some local organizations to have their membership vote for their special interest candidates, that win, given the electorate apathy. Weeks is drawing a large amount of GOP opponents so far, like every Democrat in the whole nation is now, any type of bashing excuse will be invented!

  5. Mary says:

    So refreshing….I am impressed

    • “more conservative budgeting and voter education, especially among high school and college students
    and the elderly, will be a priority, including in-person “outreach” to schools and local colleges “to be
    sure that children who’ll be the adults and leaders of tomorrow know the importance of voting.”

    • “It’s time for professionalism and integrity to be returned to [gov't].

    • “I think that’s part of the supervisor of elections’ position, is to be sure that the word gets out that we do
    have choices to be made, and everybody has the right to make that choice.”

    • [he has] extensive experience working in local civic organizations (the Flagler County Education, the
    Family Life Center, the Kiwanis Club, the Flagler Auditorium, among others)

  6. John Boy says:

    As a Republican Funeral Director this will this guy will have the perfect opportunity and knowledge to stack the voter roles with people who have died. Register then all as Republicans, cast votes for the Republican Candidate and collect $500. for each vote from the Koch Brothers.

  7. palmcoaster says:

    Was Mr. Whetsell in the governing board of the Family Life Center and maybe missed monitoring its operation, when the fraud published in the next link, took place?
    http://www.news-journalonline.com/news/local/flagler/2011/09/20/another-arrest-in-flagler-fraud-case.html
    That lady director was one of the revered untouchables in this county for years as I recall.
    I foresee probably Mr. Whetsell getting uncontested support from the local Chamber….just wait and see.

  8. Will says:

    While I can’t help but wish he had a “D” after his name instead of an “R”, ( :) ), I have the highest admiration for Mr. Whetsell and know that if elected he would do the job honorably, ethically, efficiently, and above reproach.

  9. Joe A. says:

    When I had the loss of a family member, Mr. Whetsell was there for me. I will be there for him. He was kind, compassionate and understanding to our needs. His professionalism has earned my vote.

  10. PCer says:

    I will not vote for any person that refuses to work with the “other side”. I have personally witnessed one of the candidates verbally berating the president and other democratic leaders. That person and anyone like them will NOT get my vote.

  11. BW says:

    In my opinion, the local Democrat Party leadership is very out-of-touch on this one. This race for voters is about a lot more than just bickering with County Commissioners. This race is about the total mis-management of finances (i.e. not just demand hundreds of thousands of dollars and promise you’ll give back what you don’t use when you have a $640,000+ budget, or paying employee bonuses and not calling them bonuses, etc.) in that office for the last four years. It’s about voter turnout and the lack of engagement with the community. And there is the component of a professional who can work with the other segments of local government to work together for the best interest of the community. I agree with Mr. Whetsell that we need a business professional and I believe Trey Corbett is the best candidate in terms of that. He has the large and small business management experience, demonstrated leading and developing service-centered teams, able to to work well with outside agencies, demonstrated the willingness and strong ability to connect and get out amongst the local community in a variety of ways (i.e. online and offline). You can’t raise awareness or educate until you first connect.

    PalmCoaster, this is where I disagree with applauding execution because our voter turnouts have been dismal. We have a Supervisor right now who is more focused on getting paid with tax dollars to carry out vendettas because she was let go from the Clerk of Courts Office due to budget cuts. She pats herself on the back for a first-ever Governor’s nod for reporting results of an election with one of the lowest voter turnout percentages. She one on banking on the reality that no one pays much attention to that Office, but it’s time we recognize the importance of that office, it’s functions, and the $640,000+ budget of our tax dollars and that we need real experience and education to run it. If the state finds that the position is worth $90,000/year, do you really think her performance and obvious lack of management/leadership experience is who we should hire again? I don’t.

  12. palmcoaster says:

    One more thing BW. That voter turn out is low is not the fault of any of the SOE’s in Florida including Mrs Weeks. What a libel, baseless and right down unfair accusation!. Her office has won a state mention of good performance within the 10 best SOE’s in Florida in the last elections that she managed for good performance….and lets do not forget that Weeks is a Democrat and the Governor and legislators majority are Republicans. So the state will sure agrees with her pay, so do I totally justify it as well, while being one of the quasi volunteer poll worker, as I can tell you the meager pay does not justify the long hours and effort, but we do it as a contribution to our electoral system and with national pride/patriotism
    The vendettas were carried and initiated against her and she stoically endured them. Same was done to Jim Manfre in 2004, by then BOCC. Unfortunately the voters then were swayed by the bunch of lies and the unfair witch hunt results.
    Hope in these elections same mistakes of the past are not repeated, so finally we can get Flagler county and its cities in the right track in spite of the local FCCOC permissive influences.

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