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Mark Richter Files to Run for Ericksen’s County Commission Seat as DeLorenzo Mulls Move

| June 12, 2015

mark richter charlie ericksen

Mark Richter in August 2012, when he was in a primary against Nate McLaughlin, looking away to his right. (© FlaglerLive)

He’s back.

Mark Richter, the ex-felon and ex-Flagler County Commission candidate who just last month circulated an obscene and threatening email to local media, has filed to run for the county commission again in 2016, this time in District 1, the seat held by fellow-Republican Charlie Ericksen. The filing was first reported by the Observer.

Ericksen said today he intends to run again, though two key factors will play into his final decision: his health, and whether Jason DeLorenzo, the Palm Coast City Council member, decides to run for Ericksen’s county commission seat.

“My intentions are to get better and get in shape and go down to the supervisor of elections and fill out the paperwork and at least get my name in the hopper now,” Ericksen said. “Today, the answer is yes, and unless something seriously happens to me, I intend to be there. The way I feel today is a major improvement over where I was on January 27 on an operating table, and I feel a commitment to the people of Flagler County to run for reelection.” Within a matter of days in January, Ericksen underwent surgery to the skull then gallbladder surgery. That was just a few weeks after completing a 25,000-mile bicycling feat.

In the wake of the surgeries, Ericksen had been somewhat uncertain about running again, especially with his children pressuring him to move to the Celebration area and spend more time as a grandfather. “I want to run for reelection but if my health goes south again,” he said, “then the answer will be something different. I don’t want to be somebody that lays around at home and only goes to meetings. A commissioner has many obligations to go to meetings, ribbon cuttings, talking to people.”

He and DeLorenzo met recently to discuss the seat, with DeLorenzo showing some interest in it. Asked if he would be comfortable seeing the seat go to DeLorenzo—a Democrat—Ericksen provided a clear endorsement: “Yes I would be. I think Jason is a good person, he understand things, he does his homework and he’d make a good commissioner as he is a councilman.” He said DeLorenzo’s decision to run might lead him not to, as would his health.

DeLorenzo, in a brief interview Friday, acknowledged thinking beyond the council, but he considers making any electoral moves at this point, a year and half away from an election, too soon. “Next year will be my fifth year on city council, and I feel that I may be ready to take on a larger role in my community,” DeLorenzo said. “But at this point I haven’t decided what that will be.”

Ericksen does not think of Richter as he does of DeLorenzo, staking out this odd reality: Ericksen, a Republican, feels more comfortable ceding his seat to a Democrat than he does to Richter, a fellow-Republican. That’s not as surprising as it may sound, considering Richter’s history.

“I don’t mind at all candidates like Mark Richter to run against, because I don’t think he’s a qualified candidate,” Ericksen said. “He takes no time to even attend meetings, he talks no time to ask questions of commissioners with regard to what’s going on, and I would also say he probably makes no effort to read the background information that’s given to the county commissioners before every one of the county meetings. He has his own idea of what information people need and he doesn’t spend any time finding out what they really need, and he would if he talked to people. He doesn’t talk to anybody other than the Ronald Reagan people.”

Richter did not return a phone call (a voice-mail system disconnected after a reporter identified himself), though he did replied to an email informing him about this story and inviting him to comment. Richter provided a written statement, framed in blue and under the logo of two American flags. “I am Mark Richter candidate for Flagler County Commissioner and look forward to being the next County Commissioner District 1. I look forward to representing the constituents by giving the fair and honest representation they expect and deserve. There is a way to make our community a better place to live, and it begins when you Vote. Thank you.” The statement was identical to one he sent the News-Journal, on whose reporter–Tony Holt–Richter hung up once Holt identified himself, according to a News-Journal article published today.

Richter lives in the Mondex, also known as Daytona North. He would have to move to Ericksen’s district, in Palm Coast, to represent it. In his first run two and a half years ago, Richter lost in the Republican primary to Nate McLaughlin after bitter race that included an incident involving Richter’s sons allegedly intimidating McLaughlin. Subsequent to Richter’s loss, he made racist suggestions about this site’s editor, connecting his Arab ancestry to terrorism, and in late May Richter sent an image of Osama bin Laden having sex with a camel in the body of an email circulated to all local media, again making obscene allegations about FlaglerLive and calling for a boycott of the site.

On June 2, Dennis McDonald, who also ran and lost in the county commission primary two years ago—against Frank Meeker—emailed Ericksen to let him know of Richter’s intentions: “As your former campaign manager I thought it appropriate that I let you know that Mark Richter is filing to run for your district,” McDonald wrote. “I guess Mark has had enough of “country life” and is interested in moving into the BIG city.”

Several years ago Ericksen had been associated with the Ronald Reagan Republican Assemblies, with McDonald, an association Ericksen would soon sever. Richter claimed in a letter to the News-Journal late last month that he had resigned from the Reagan group. The Ronald Reagan Assemblies, however, has never disavowed Richter. A call to Michael McElroy, the group’s current president, was not returned Friday.

Ericksen called Richter’s behavior on several counts “inappropriate.”







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14 Responses for “Mark Richter Files to Run for Ericksen’s County Commission Seat as DeLorenzo Mulls Move”

  1. tulip says:

    First Richter running in a district he doesn’t live in and now DeLorenzo is thinking about running in a district he doesn’t live in??? What’s going on? If DeLorenzo wants to run for County Commissioner, than he should run for Hahn’s seat, as they are both in the same district, and that’s the fair way to do things.

    I certainly hope someone else besides Richter runs against Ericksen cause Richter is really bad news.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Narcissism is as narcissism does. Vote for Richter if you are an absolute and utter fool, willing to used out of ignorance (which he will happily exploit.)

  3. Will (#1) says:

    Well, Richter just took himself out of the possibility to participate in the candidate training class planned for this fall. It’s been announced that candidates who are incumbents or who declare for office before the class cannot participate.

    But, maybe that’s OK since he seems to know it all anyway.

  4. Carol Mikola says:

    This man has no shame.

  5. YankeeExPat says:

    I would personally carry piggyback to any voting place any Republican, Democrat, NPA, Libertarian, Communist, Whig or Tory that would vote against Mark Richter. I will also carry a Ronald Reagan Republican, but I might require a quarter (let’s call it a poll tax) for my services.

  6. Dee Cocchiola says:

    Oh, no! Not Richter again. This guy’s like death and taxes. He won’t go away. So now we all have to make sure we vote and we get everyone around us to vote against this deplorable man.

  7. Commom Sense says:

    What? Who would vote for him?

    • Dee Cocchiola says:

      You know the fringe right, they’ll vote for him. They’d vote for a mass murderer as long as he or she is a fellow wingnut.

  8. Robert Lewis says:

    Mark Richter is our local stolen valor.
    He profited off the war while others died.
    What was his service ?

  9. PCer says:

    Who else is running? Any democrats in the race yet?

  10. Rich Mikola says:

    Well, who did you expect to run for the RRRA / TEA PARTY wingnuts of Flagler County ?

  11. Anonymous says:

    I think Mr. Richter has mistaken notoriety for popularity.

  12. Time for a change says:

    Beings every County Commissioner currently serving and their own hand picked County Attorney Al Hadeed have faced complaints being filed against them with three of the five commissioners already required to pay fines, I welcome a new face on the Board of County Commissioners. **Pending complaints may result in additional fines being imposed.

  13. Dan potter says:

    I have submitted my initial paperwork for County Commissioner for District 1. Since 1968 I have had constant interaction with the US Army either as a retiree (Lifer) or supported it through being mayor of the frontal city of Fort Campbell. I hope I am a step up from the manner some of my potential opponents conduct themselves. There is no reason to use ugliness in politics as it only reflects on the manner that individual would serve. Dan “Bikeman”Potter.

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