Englewood Indivisible's large Endorsements Group worked for almost a year to research likely candidates and develop questions pertinent to each race. We are in Charlotte and Sarasota counties and a nonpartisan group, so it was a large, challenging task.
In the end, as a group united in resistance to Trump's agenda, we have found few Republicans who are not "Trumpier" than their Republican opponents and so in partisan races we have endorsed Democrats opposed to the Trump/GOP agenda. In the non-partisan Sarasota County School Board race we endorsed two registered Democrats and one Republican, all of whom strongly support public education.
In April we heard Democratic candidate for State House District 74 Tony Mowry speak at our meeting. The next week we started collecting petition signatures to get him on the ballot. That effort ultimately succeeded. We also voted online (unanimously) to endorse him. Here's our news release announcing the endorsement.
We followed Mowry's endorsement with an endorsement of Olivia Babis, the Democrat running for State Senate District 23. She also spoke to our members at a meeting and we then voted online to endorse her. Here is our announcement of the endorsement.
Next we turned our attention to Sarasota County races. We welcomed candidates for County Commission Ruta Maria Jouniari and Wesley Anne Beggs to a gathering and then we devoted part of a meeting to hearing from School Board candidates Shirley Brown, Nick Guy and Jane Goodwin.
We endorsed all of them. Here is the announcement.
Our most recent endorsement was of R. David Walker for the Democratic nomination for Commissioner of Agriculture. We endorsed him because he is a scientist and an environmentalist -- and because he is a founder of an Indivisible group in Broward County. Here is our announcement of the endorsement.
In July, as vote-by-mail ballots arrived, many members asked us about "down ballot" races we had not yet focused on. So we held an online meeting and decided that we would make recommendations rather than continue with our slow endorsement process.
During a 90-minute online meeting and a subsequent three days of research, drafting and editing, we produced this document of recommendations, of which we are very proud.
The recommendations in the document are boiled down into the two postcard-sized flyers that illustrate this page. You can print them out four to a page and give them out to friends -- or at one of the early voting sites through August 26th.
The Charlotte and Englewood Sun ran a story about our candidate recommendations and endorsements on August 19th.
The article, which you can read online here or as a PDF linked at the bottom of this post, got some points about our endorsment and recommendation process (admittedly a bit complicated) not quite right.
Jane Hunter sent a correction, which we are including below pending its publication.
"We are delighted see such a big story about ourselves. Thank you for putting in all the work required to produce it.
"I'd like to offer a couple of clarifications, which we believe are worthy of sharing with your readers.
"First, we both endorsed candidates and recommended candidates. The endorsement process involved research by a group of about 15 members that worked for months, and subsequent online votes by our several hundred of our members. We have endorsed: R. David Walker for Commissioner of Agriculture, Olivia Babis for State Senate 23, Tony Mowry for State House 74, Ruta Jouniari and Wesley Beggs for Sarasota County Commission, Nick Guy, Shirley Brown and Jane Goodwin for Sarasota County School Board.
"Our recommendations were made by a meeting that was open to all members but attended only by around a dozen. The recommendations were made because Vote By Mail ballots had arrived and members were asking whom to vote for. There wasn't time for the endorsement process. Because we are a nonpartisan group and have members registered in both parties and NPA, we made recommendations on all ballots in both Sarasota and Charlotte Counties. The full set of recommendations are here.
"These recommendations are of quite another order than our endorsed candidates; in some of the races (like the Republican primary for Sarasota County Commission) we were basically offering research for our Republican members. Englewood Indivisible is seriously working to elect the candidates we have endorsed. We believe they will bring the changes we need.
Lastly, Sue Busko says that, although she was at the meeting, she was not the source of the quote about Lourdes Ramirez and Al Maio attributed to her. Indeed, as a Charlotte County resident she is not familiar with Ramirez or Maio, nor has she ever heard of the picture or contribution referenced in this article. Attributing this statement to her is incorrect.
"Again, our thanks for bringing attention to our work.