As many of you know Politics unfortunately can be a dirty game. In every race your opponent, if they are not fair minded, will spend more time trying to question your ability to hold office. And of course anything you have done since you were in the womb of your mother will be used against you to paint you in a bad light. For 10 years the City of Groveland has been the butt of jokes and known for its miss-management and personal conflicts among council. I entered three years ago as a citizen just desiring to change the attitude of Groveland and see things move forward. I ran the former Vice Mayor McMican campaign who won, but quickly realized that there was a group of people that doesn't want change and will do anything to pressure good people to walk away. I've seen the abuse of political power and of our tax dollars by those we have placed in office. When I entered this race I was quickly attacked and my reputation was questioned.
You see unlike other candidates I am not perfect and have spent my life helping people realize that who you were isn't who you have to remain. 23 years ago I was a single father of two children and ended up homeless in the City of Clermont sleeping behind Winn Dixie on Hwy 50. That time in my life was difficult as you can imagine but through time and caring friends and family I was able to pull myself together and become the person I am today. During that time of my life, I even was convicted of driving on a suspended license as I struggled to take care of my two boys.
Fast forward 20 years later, for 15 years I have been a Pastor of a church in Clermont where I use to be homeless, I have written two award winning books, one that chronicles my life story entitled, "LEMONS TO LEMONADE: Overcoming Your Past & Winning in the Now (Amazon). This book is about people who have learned how to squeeze purpose out of a sour season in their life. I also serve on several non-profit boards in Southlake County, I became the 2015 Southlake Black Achiever Award recipient and I have worked with State Elected officials to get legislation passed. And I'm most proud to be a US Army veteran and the current appointed Chaplain of the American Legion Post 239. I am also the Lake County Chair for the Christian Family Coalition of Florida, a lobbyist group dedicated to fighting for our family rights and our students in public and private school. You would think with all the progress that I have made that it would be recognized.
Well last year I got a taste of what dirty politics is, as an article was written about me and my opponent but none of my accomplishments were listed or what I had been doing the past 20 years. The only thing that was mentioned was my conviction of driving on a suspended license. This was troubling to me as I believed in the American dream that affords us all the opportunity to prove that we can be productive citizens as I have done. There are many great people out there doing amazing things in their life that "had" a past. I believe people should be judged on their present and progress and not their past. I have worked hard to build a legacy for my family and show others that they can change their life and be successful. I want to do the same thing for the City of Groveland. Although I have my FULL RIGHTS to vote, run for office and serve on a jury, this is also why I support Florida Amendment 4 which gives convicted felons who have proven their transformation the right to Vote.
A transformation is needed in the City and its time to move Groveland forward to the future and away from its past. I ask on November 6th vote for Common Sense Accountability.