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Special Election’s Final Four: Cox, Hutson, Morley and Renner in Tuesday Forum

| February 23, 2015

Adam Morley, left, and Paul Renner are contending for the Florida House seat that represents all of Flagler County in the April  7 special election. (© FlaglerLive)

Adam Morley, left, and Paul Renner are contending for the Florida House seat that represents all of Flagler County in the April 7 special election. (© FlaglerLive)

They’re the final four candidates for two seats in the special election to the Legislature on April 7: Democrat David Cox is facing Republican Travis Hutson for the Senate District 6 seat, and Democrat Adam Morley is facing Republican Paul Renner for the House District 24 seat.

All four will be at a candidate forum on Tuesday, Feb. 24, at 6 p.m. at the Flagler County Association of Realtors’ building, 4101 E Moody Blvd in Bunnell. The event is free and open to the public, and this time, “we’re going to allow some audience questions,” Rebecca deLorenzo, president of the Flagler County Chamber of Commerce, said. “They’ll be moderated.”

The chamber is among the three organizations sponsoring the forum. The Flagler County Home Builders Association and The Flagler Counjty Association of Realtors are the others.

Huston alone has served in the Legislature: he will resign from his second term in the House on April 6. Cox is an administrator at Bethune-Cookman University. Morley owned his own recycling husiness, which he recently sold, and is now focusing on the campaign full time. Renner is an attorney who moved to Palm Coast from Jacksonville to run for the seat, having lost a bid for a Jacksonville-based House seat in last summer’s primary–by two votes. The Republicans were featured in the first forum, ahead of the primary.

There were not many differences between the Republican candidates at that forum. Tuesday’s encounter promises to be different, though Morley and Cox face a formidable task in attempting to defeat their far-better funded Re[publican opponents, in districts the Republican-dominated Legislature drew to expressly favor Republican candidates.

The forum will be moderated by Howard Holley, the former candidate for Flagler County Commission, and the event will be broadcast on WNZF. (An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that WNZF’s David Ayers would moderate. “He wanted someone else to do it,” the chamber’s Gretchen Smith said.)

The special election is expected to cost taxpayers upwards of $1 million in the various districts. It was necessitated by ex-Sen. John Thrasher’s decision to remain in office even after being chosen to be Florida State University’s next president–long enough to force a special election, though the contest could have been decided concurrently with last fall’s election campaign.

Flagler County’s Chamber, Association of Realtors and Home Builders Association have a successful track record of hosting nonpartisan candidate forums before elections. Candidates answer tough business-related questions, address issues and talk about their qualifications for serving in government roles. The forums also give voters a chance to learn more about candidates and make informed decisions when they head to the polls.

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6 Responses for “Special Election’s Final Four: Cox, Hutson, Morley and Renner in Tuesday Forum”

  1. Gretchen Smith says:

    Actually, we have a new emcee for this event, Howard Holley. David is taking a well-deserved break but the program will, as always, air live on WNZF 106.3FM and

    We are also hosting a social hour with the candidates from 5 to 6PM. There will be beer, wine, coffee, water and light snacks. During this time, guests will have an opportunity to submit questions in writing and to ‘vote” in the straw poll we will be conducting.

    Please call me with questions at the Chamber 437.0106.

    Gretchen Smith
    Flagler County Chamber

  2. do your homework says:

    Good luck Cox and Morley! Is Travis going to have his Daddy there to get him through the forum? Travis has never held a job in his life, is wet behind the ears and is relying on Daddy’s money and connections to get him a comfy spot in politics as a Senator. Hutson hasn’t done much for us as a Representative, so we would be foolish to think he could or would as a Senator.

    Renner is being promoted by Hutson’s daddy and we will get more of the same ol if Hutson or Renner are elected. VOTE MORLEY AND COX!

  3. confidential says:

    We need change to help our middle class, our local families, local economy and small businesses to provide more jobs and improve education in our schools in Florida. Then our vote is for Adam Morley.

  4. Robert Lewis says:

    Explain how his is an impartial forum? There is a big red flag here!!!!

    Howard Holley was a republican candidate for the house seat and then withdrew.
    He should be disqualified as the forum moderator. That is a serious conflict of interest.

    Shame on the Chamber of Commerce and the Flagler County Home Builders for creating this conflict of interest by allowing Howard Holley moderate this forum. It certainly shows their lack of impartiality.

    I’m deeply disapointed! I encourage candidates to object and voters to not attend.

  5. confidential says:

    Good forum questions and answers!
    Thanks to WNZF for broadcasting!
    So refreshing to see contenders not at each other throats but instead concentrated in their future strategies to help us all if elected.

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