Law Enforcement Unions are NOT unified about the Alachua County Commission Elections
The two law enforcement unions in North Central Florida have come out on the two sides of the budget battle between the Alachua County Commission and Sheriff Sadie Darnell.
Last night the Police Benevolent Association endorsed the two challengers running for re-election.
Then today the local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police announced its endorsement of Commissioners Cynthia Chestnut and Lee Pinkoson in Gainesville.
President of the Gator Lodge 67 chapter, Jeff McAdams, announced the FOP's support for the two incumbent Alachua County Commissioners in a press conference today.
He said, "After much healthy debate, the members of the Fraternal Order of Police unanimously and enthusiastically endorse Alachua County Commissioners Cynthia Chestnut and Lee Pinkoson for re-election."
McAdams said that experience and knowledge of the issues is what's needed to solve the problems at the County Jail right away.
He said, "There is no learning curve...we have a genuine commitment from both Lee and Cynthia to fix the problems, the life threatening problems, that are at the Alachua County Jail right now."
Dr. Daniel Smith, Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida, said the FOP's endorsement is somewhat surprising coming from McAdams, who has run for office as a Republican.
But Smith said the decision from the union is strategic and focused on the bottom line of funding for the jail.
When the North Central Florida Police Benevolent Association announced their endorsement of the Republican opponents: Susan Baird and Jim Gabriel, they said that the candidates will eliminate "pet projects" and focus on public safety.
Dr. Smith said that although these union endorsements are beneficial, one endorsement may prove to be more important. Specifically, Sheriff Sadie Darnell's endorsement of Chestnut's opponent Susan Baird.
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