Brinkman drops out of Sheriff race, but why?

Published: Sep. 1, 2020 at 5:44 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 1, 2020 at 6:34 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Rob Brinkman submitted his letter of withdrawal to the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections on Aug. 28, making Clovis Watson Jr. the sheriff elect by default.

When Brinkman entered the race, it became a closed primary, which meant only registered Democrats in Alachua County could vote - so approximately half of the registered voters in the county did not have a say in who became Sheriff.

He does not have a campaign website and no other information online, except for a phone number and address on the Supervisor of Elections website.

We tried reaching out to Brinkman via calls, email and Facebook messages, but did not receive any responses.

We decided to go to his home to figure out why he dropped out of the race, but no one answered the door. Just as we were preparing to leave, he pulled into the driveway.

After asking if he was indeed Robert Brinkman, he told us, “Get out of here.” We then asked if we could talk to him and he replied, “No! Get out!”

Shortly after we left the residence, Brinkman called our station from the same number he had not returned any of our calls, and threatened to sue the station if we did not leave the property. He also threatened to charge us with stalking.

This is not the first time Brinkman has entered a race without a party affiliation, either. In 2012, he was a write-in candidate for a State House seat - an election Watson won against Marihelen Wheeler.

Brinkman did not drop out of that race, however, was beaten in the general election by Watson and received less than 1% of the vote.

In the 2012 election, Brinkman’s entering the race also closed the primary.

Copyright 2020 WCJB. All rights reserved.

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