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Ericksen Will Run for Commission Re-Election After All; Medley Files for Elections Supervisor

| December 4, 2015

charlie ericksen flagler county commission

Flagler County Commissioner Charlie Ericksen will run again. (c FlaglerLive)

For months it was uncertain whether first-term incumbent Flagler County Commissioner Charlie Ericksen would file for re-election. He went through two surgeries this year, he’s 72, his grandchildren have been clamoring for more playtime with him, and for a while he was considering moving out of the county to accommodate them. But at a Republican Club Christmas party Thursday evening, he made it official: he’ll run.

“I decided that as long as I was in company of 90 friendly Republicans and introductions of other known candidates, that I would step up and clear up the questions that people had,” Ericksen said this afternoon.

The announcement follows the decision two days ago by Mark Richter to withdraw from that race, where he would have been a challenger of Ericksen’s in the Republican primary. But Ericksen had never taken Richter seriously. His health was his primary concern.

“I thought that what health issues I had are behind me and I’ve had confirmation from the doctor that I’m in as good a shape as I was before the incident and the health was no longer a consideration, but good health is no longer a guarantee either,” Ericksen said. “I am what, 72, and even as much as I enjoy bicycling that wears out legs and the knees and stuff like that, it also has its good health benefits. As a doctor told me after I recovered from the brain surgery, if I wasn’t as dedicated a biker I probably would not have survived the surgery and the event.” (Ericksen had a brain bleed in January, and days later had his gallbladder removed.)

The surgery had also affected Ericksen’s memory. “About the only trouble I have no is sometimes I remember your first name sometimes I remember your last name,” he said. “That’s all something else a 72-year-old goes through also.” He’d had memory tests and passed them, Ericksen said.

Ericksen’s decision was surprising for another reason: “He called me and told me that he wasn’t running,” Jason DeLorenzo, the Palm Coast City Council member, said today, referring to a conversation a few months distant. “He called me and told me if you’re going to run I’m not going to run.” DeLorenzo, a Democrat, has not announced a run for the Ericksen seat, but he is leaning heavily in that direction and will make an announcement in January.

Ericksen recalls it differently. “I don’t recall ever telling him that I wasn’t going to run, I told everybody that I still hadn’t made up my mind,” Ericksen said.

“It’s not going to have an effect on me,” DeLorenzo said of Ericksn’s decision. “It doesn’t surprise me because the Republican party was going to run somebody, and even if it was Richter, they were still going to run someone, I don’t think they would have had Richter alone in the field, that wouldn’t have made them look good, would it.”

Neither man harbor any animosity toward the other, neither trades in political scurrilities: the race, if it comes to one, would be similar to the one shaping up between incumbent commissioner George Hanns and Donald O’Brien–opponents who respect each other and are on record saying flattering things about each other, leaving them to focus on policy and ideas instead of personalities.

“I would expect Jason would be a formidable opponent with his ties to the housing and building areas, which I also had a lot of support from when I ran the first time,” Ericksen said. “I hope we can keep it all on a friendly basis, here’s my good points, here’s your points and sell those to the voters out there.”

kimble medley

Kimble Medley. (© FlaglerLive)

The same day Ericksen was making his announcement to the Republican club, Kimble Medley was making her announcement about her second run for the Supervisor of Elections office. The move was long expected: Medley virtually shadowed the former administration of Kimberle Weeks, and was one of Weeks’s harshest critics. Controversies have vanished from the office since Kaiti Lenhart took over, but that hasn’t diminished Medley’s interest in the position so much as reduced what targets she could aim for.

“The Office of Supervisor of Elections, regardless of its location, is the cornerstone of democracy and has been since our founding,” Medley said in a statement emailed to media. “I am running because our residents deserve the fullest opportunity to register and vote; and, by implementing long overdue reforms needed to bring the office into the 21st century, I will create an environment and office all voters and candidates can trust.”

The statement said she “knows the job inside out,” citing her former service as deputy supervisor of elections, when she had experience with “election security; voting machine failsafe operations; poll worker training; voter registration and party change; petition verification; and, certification of precinct voting sites and equipment.”

Medley did not respond to questions emailed to her this morning–asking about her analysis of Lenhart’s administration of the office–other than to say that “voters will determine candidate qualifications.”

Responding to the announcement, Lenhart, who has not worked with Medley before, noted that Medley worked in the office only between January and August 2009, “which is equal to approximately seven months of employment. Her resignation date was a month prior to the Special Primary Election in 2009. I am not surprised that she has filed to run again this year and I admire her dedication. I was appointed Supervisor of Elections and I believe it is important for the voters to have a choice. The freedom to choose our elected leaders is the foundation of democracy.”

Since her appointment as supervisor of elections in January, Lenhart said, she has conducted two successful county-wide elections, and as a deputy supervisor in previous years assisted with 17 elections in six years.

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12 Responses for “Ericksen Will Run for Commission Re-Election After All; Medley Files for Elections Supervisor”

  1. Beg-Borrow and Steal says:

    Trust says Medley…..Medley is still paying back unemployment monies she filed for knowing she was not eligible to receive from the elections office in 2009. Medley did not begin repaying the near $3,500 until Supervisor Kimberle Weeks insisted the Agency for Workforce Innovation take her to court before statute of limitation was reached. An honest person that could be trusted would not have filed for monies they were not eligible or entitled to receive and they would have repaid such monies before the courts ordered them to do so. I hardly agree that 7 months employment in the elections office entitles Medley to be qualified for the position of SOE. What is her employment experience since leaving the elections office in 2009 or is she unemployable? Can’t wait to see her financial disclosure statement.

  2. Joe says:

    These two will be the same old same old, isn’t there any new blood running, i’m tired of the same old connected good ole boy system, isn’t there any other candidates yet ?

  3. Brad W says:

    I respect that Ms. Medley is making a run again for the Supervisor of Elections position, but this is an example of why voters need to scrutinize local candidate. This is a $95,000+ position (salary set by state calculation) paid for out of local tax dollars. Above that . . . it’s our votes and our voice. Ms. Medley has had less than a stable tract record locally with employment and residence according to her most recent application to be a volunteer on the City of Palm Coast Code Enforcement Board and other public records sources.

    First of all after working with the former Supervisor of Elections Kimberle Weeks (who is now being indicted for 12 felony counts) to help her get elected in 2008 Ms. Medley quit her taxpayer job in our Clerk of Courts Office to take a job at the Election Office. She often cites the “her experience” working in the Elections Office, but what is conveniently left out is that employment only lasted about 8 months in 2009 when she quit citing a “hostile work environment” and has not been employed since 2009. On top of this she also filed for unemployment compensation in 2009 after quitting her job and received about $4,000 in benefits she was not entitled to. Thsi was overturned in a later hearing and she was ordered to repay the benefits she should have never received in the first place. She now says she’s been “going to school” for 7 years?

    Second. Ms. Medley has never owned property since moving here in 2004 and has lived at 8 different addresses since then (counting her latest address posted on her campaign election page). Highly unusual for anyone and always suspect when someone is applying for any job especially one that pays over $95,000 of our tax dollars.

    Many will say this is a “personal attack”. It’s not. We have just went through over 6 years of instability and outrageous behavior and events in our Elections Office including holding elections hostage in our City and we should be able to expect the highest levels of integrity and stability from that office. I have told Ms. Medley all of this before and explained to her that I would have liked to see her hold a job, stay in one home (preferrably one she owned), and show real stability. She has not done any of that, but rather just chose to “rub elbows” with local names. In my opinion, this is not a candidate we can expect to rely on in any office in our community.

    http://flaglerlive.com/wp-content/uploads/code-enforcement.pdf

  4. Brad W says:

    I respect that Ms. Medley is making a run again for the Supervisor of Elections position, but this is an example of why voters need to scrutinize local candidates. This is a $95,000+ position (salary set by state calculation) paid for out of local tax dollars. Above that . . . it’s our votes and our voice! Ms. Medley has had less than a stable tract record locally with employment and residence according to her most recent application to be a volunteer on the City of Palm Coast Code Enforcement Board and other public records sources.

    First of all after working with the former Supervisor of Elections Kimberle Weeks (who is now being indicted for 12 felony counts) to help her get elected in 2008 Ms. Medley quit her taxpayer job in our Clerk of Courts Office to take a job at the Election Office. She often cites the “her experience” working in the Elections Office, but what is conveniently left out is that employment only lasted about 8 months in 2009 when she quit citing a “hostile work environment” and has not been employed since 2009. On top of this she also filed for unemployment compensation in 2009 after quitting her job and received about $4,000 in benefits she was not entitled to. Thsi was overturned in a later hearing and she was ordered to repay the benefits she should have never received in the first place. She now says she’s been a “going to school” for the past 4 years?

    Second. Ms. Medley has never owned property since moving here in 2004 and has lived at 8 different addresses since then (counting her latest address posted on her campaign election page). Highly unusual for anyone and always suspect when someone is applying for any job especially one that pays over $95,000 of our tax dollars.

    Many will say this is a “personal attack”. It’s not. We have just went through over 6 years of instability and outrageous behavior and events in our Elections Office including holding elections hostage in our City and we should be able to expect the highest levels of integrity and stability from that office. I have told Ms. Medley all of this before and explained to her that I would have liked to see her hold a job, stay in one home (preferrably one she owned), and show real stability. She has not done any of that, but rather just chose to “rub elbows” with local names. In my opinion, this is not a candidate we can expect to rely on in any office in our community.

    http://flaglerlive.com/wp…/uploads/code-enforcement.pdf

  5. confidential says:

    Good Bye Ericksen if well connected with FCCOC DeLorenzo runs….imagine the whole chamber will lobby for him and also the FCHBA, the cliques have proven to work well in this county! Mrs. DeLorenzo will have a big weight on his campaign.,, All in the family. Meanwhile taxpayers and voters are Palmtoasted.

  6. tulip says:

    Abra Seay is also running for SOE. Isn’t that a relative or child of Peggy Rae Border? So far 3 are competing for SOE and, if Delorenzo actually files to run, there will be 2 competing for Ericksen’s seat. If nothing else they are all legit candidates and certainly 150% better than Richter.

  7. Brad W says:

    Tulip,

    I’m very interested to learn more about Seay and what specifically she has in mind. I personally don’t think there is a”voter confidence” problem in the county. a good majority are registered and turnout at national election times is pretty darn good. It’s always been the in-between times where turnout has been horrible and that in my opinion has always been a communication problem with that office.

    I personally think if Abra can bring a real community communications and engagement strategy with proven results that can create a culture of voting. For example, taking that 1962 Elections Office Quarterly PDF Newsletter and putting it out of it’s misery once and for all. Replace it with ongoing online posts that are then automatically compiled weekly from the RSS feed and mass emailed to subscribers. Using social media to engage with the community continuously promoting the idea and importance of voting in general through a clear marketing (not advertising) strategy.

    The Office runs smooth elections. Weeks is gone and Kati Lenhart has had a lot dumped on her and has done very well operating the two elections she has had so far. Focusing on that Office’s operations will be a very bad idea for any opposing candidate. Lenhart however has not shown that she is a voice of voting or a visible leader of that charge in the community. That’s where an opposing candidate that wants to win needs to put their focus and bring detailed ideas with proven results.

  8. confidential says:

    Abra Seay maybe a relative of past Commissioner John Seay and husband of former long time SOE Peggy Border, maybe their child…?. Peggy was SOE for loooong time until decided to retire and endorsed the former News Journal employee that was then the appointed FC Public Information Officer (that lately after retiring was replaced by another News Journal employee Julie Murphy now). Peggy was SOE for a long time, never an issue with the FCBOCC as also her husband was a commissioner for years…

  9. Algernon says:

    There are two sides to Kimble Medley’s story. The nay sayers have started telling one side. There is another, which in part involves our former SOE who after Ms. Medley left the SOE office citing terrible working conditions (not exact, but you can imagine), SOE Weeks denied that there were such conditions (pot calling kettle black) and vindictively went after Ms. Medley unemployment payments, which HAD BEEN APPROVED. Does ANYONE think Ms. Weeks would have been above such a tactic? Hardly.

    And, yes, Ms. Medley has gone to school. She completed her bachelors degree at Daytona State, and is now enrolled at Embry Riddle in a masters degree in leadership.

    There’s more to the other side of the story whcih doesn’t appear in letters above. There’s time for it all to come out. I encourage voters to get to know Kimble Medley for SOE.

  10. layla says:

    It always amazes me that anyone wants to run for office here after the tarring and feathering they receive.

  11. tulip says:

    To LAYLA They run for office because the pay is great. Over $52,000 a year for county commissioner,plus retirement benefits, close to $100,000 for SOE, plus retirement benefits, and many other high paying county jobs.

    A lot of people take a lot of crap in their jobs that don’t even pay close to that kind of money.

  12. tulip says:

    To BRAD W Abra Seay’s bio is on flaglerelections.com

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