Lakeland’s Politics in the Park Express was full steam ahead, showcasing candidates and supporters and highlighting the flexibility of Lakelanders. With a steady drizzle, Thursday’s event became “Politics in the Bank” as VIP Reception sponsors BB&T, Coldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Ralston Dantzler Realty, and Cross, Fernandez & Riley, LLP opened their doors to the hob-nob.
Lakeland Mayor Gow Fields once again kicked off “Politics in the Park” with a little help from the South McKeel Academy choral group singing the rousing patriotic tune “America for Me.” Following the introduction and song, attendees had the opportunity to meet and greet with local and state candidates and hear their platforms.
“…Thursday’s crowded bank lobby showed folks can get along, according to Neil Combee, a former county commissioner who is running for Florida House District 39.
“We are just having a great time and everybody’s happy,” he said.”
– The Ledger, article by Bill Rufty, Political Editor
The Chamber hosts this event every two years to bring candidates and citizens together, and encourages all voters to research and make informed decisions on November 6. The evening was especially meaningful for another group of folks with a similar mission. YMCA Youth in Government encourages students to learn the political process and get involved. Several YMCA YIG students were in attendance and were able to learn first-hand about campaigns, platforms, and more.
To find out more about the candidates in attendance at Politics in the Park 2012, please find links to each site below.
- State Senate District 15 Candidate: State Rep. Kelli Stargel
- State Senate District 15 Candidate: Stego Blue
- State Senate District 21 Candidate: State Rep. Denise Grimsley
- State Representative District 39 Candidate: Neil Combee
- State Representative District 40 Candidate: State Rep. Seth McKeel
- State Representative District 40 Candidate: Lillian Lima
- State Representative District 41 Candidate: John Wood
- State Representative District 41 Candidate: Karen Welzel
- Judicial – Circuit Court 10, Group 7 Candidate: William Sites
- Judicial – Circuit Court 10, Group 7 Candidate: Christine Thornhill
- County Commission District 1 Candidate: George Lindsey
- County Commission District 1 Candidate: Richard Castret
- County Commission District 5 Candidate: John Hall
- County Commission District 5 Candidate: Ricky Shirah
The Chamber would like to thank the Politics in the Park 2012 sponsors for helping to make this event possible.
- Clark, Campbell & Lancaster, P.A.
- Florida Strategic Group
- The Mosaic Company
- Badcock Home Furniture & more
- Bank of Central Florida
- BusinessVoice of Greater Lakeland, Inc.
- CF Industries
- Coca-Cola Refreshments
- Community Southern Bank
- DSM Technology Consultants
- Innovative Ink
- Kimley-Horn & Associates, Inc.
- NuJak Companies
- The Randy Roberts Foundation
- The Ruthvens
- Vecchio, Carrier & Feldman, P.A.
And, also the volunteers, organizations, and issues groups who participated in the event.