Southwest Florida’s Quiet Primary Season Takes Unexpected Turn

In a typically vibrant political scene in Southwest Florida, a surprisingly quiet primary season is unfolding. Even so, a few intriguing and unexpected developments have taken place. The most notable among them is the focus on Hospital Boards which, in a rational world, shouldn’t be garnering this level of attention. On the contrary, these races have not only captured local interest but have also caused a stir on the national stage.

One key figure in these developments is Vern Buchanan, the U.S. Rep who once again faces a GOP Primary challenger of questionable credentials. Meanwhile, State Rep. Fiona McFarland is currently running unopposed for the GOP nomination, solidifying her growing influence in Tallahassee. A somewhat heated County Commission race is also underway, featuring a Gov. Ron DeSantis appointee and a former Sheriff, but neither candidate has particularly impressed.

However, let’s turn our attention to a more pressing matter – the controversial Hospital Boards’ races.

1. The Hospital Boards’ Controversy

The Hospital Boards’ races have generated a swirl of attention because of the bizarre candidates running for these positions. Reports have brought to light a group of Republicans with extreme views who want to privatize Sarasota Memorial Hospital. They are up against another group of Republicans who oppose privatization and are fighting to protect a hospital that many regard as the county’s pride and joy.

2. A Local Operative’s Audacious Move

The next twist in the tale involves a local Sarasota Democratic operative who, in an audacious move, decided to align with the COVID-denying fringe elements, thereby putting Sarasota Memorial Hospital at risk. This operative is none other than Daniel Kuether, the Chair of the Sarasota County Democrat Party. Unfazed by the fact that a Democrat hasn’t won a partisan countywide election in Sarasota County since 2020, Kuether conceived a bold plan.

His “brilliant” idea was to run Democrats in all four Hospital Board races, close the Republican Primaries, and disenfranchise half the county from voting in an election that could impact people’s health and medical care.

3. The Patsies and the Outcome

Kuether managed to convince four unsuspecting individuals that they stood a chance of winning in November. These patsies – George Davis, John Lutz, Vicki Nighswander, and Alan Sprintz – are likely well-intentioned individuals with impressive résumés. However, they have been led astray by Kuether’s misguided strategy.

In the end, this political farce will likely have severe consequences for the Sarasota Democratic Party and their candidates. As the qualifying rounds approach, it will be interesting to see the backlash they receive for their negligence towards the health and safety of their community. Whether these four candidates will come to their senses and do the right thing remains to be seen.

Should they choose not to, they will share the blame for the threat facing Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

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