The Republican Club of Greater East Polk County.

September 11, 2001 What Have We learned?

Freedom Farm with Mike Zarzano researcher into September 11 events tells the Rest of the Story…

Date and time: Sat, August 14, 2021, 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM EDT

Location: 380 Patterson Road Haines City, FL 33844

Sponsored by The Praying Patriots and The Republican Club of Greater East Polk County.

Meeting begins with Opening Ceremonies and Potluck Meal – Bring a covered dish to share, at 5:30 PM.

Come and Join fellow Americans as our Eyes have been opened to criminal activities of September 11, 2001. Mike Zarzano, an incredible researcher on the 9/11 Events reveals the Rest of the Story.

Free of Cost

School Advisory Council Training

School Advisory Council Training – Next Workshop – Tuesday, August 10, 6:30-8PM – Special Guest Keith Thompson (SAC)

Republican Executive Committee (Inman Park Baptist Church) 1800 6th St NW, Winter Haven

For all of us who are frustrated with the direction of education, this is the answer. Very important training session on School Advisory Councils and School Improvement Plans. During this training, you will learn about school board and SAC bylaws, statutes, policies and procedures. This is going to be extremely valuable in launching our county-wide SAC committees. Having a child in school is not a requirement to be on the SAC and dads are encouraged as well! 

Steve Larsen, Secretary

Workshop Director


The Republican Club of Lakeland

The Republican Club of Lakeland
We have an exciting lineup of speakers planned for the rest of the year!
  • September (9/1/2021) – State Representative Colleen Burton
  • October (10/6/2021) – Congressman Scott Franklin
  • November (11/3/2021) – Florida Secretary of Commerce Jamal Sowell & BRIDGE Local Founder, Mrs. Chrissanne Long
  • December (12/4/2021) – Polk County Republican “A December to Remember” Holiday Event featuring Senator Joe Gruters and more

Faith Based Republican Club of West Polk will be meeting Thursday August 12, 2021 from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Fred’s Market Restaurant

The Faith Based Republican Club of West Polk will be meeting Thursday August 12, 2021 from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Fred’s Market Restaurant located at 2120 Harden Blvd. Lakeland Florida 33803. Our featured guest speaker will be Cathi Chamberlain aka The Deplorable Author.
Rules for Deplorables: A Primer for Fighting Radical Socialism
Talk show producer and on-air talent 
  “Voice of a Nation” | America Out Loud Talk Radio
RADIO TALK: https://americaoutloud.com/the-voice-of-a-nation/
BLOGS: https://americaoutloud.com/author/cathi-chamberlain. 

‘Playing politics’: Partisan divide evident in Polk as Jan. 6 inquiry starts – The Ledger


‘Playing politics’: Partisan divide evident in Polk as Jan. 6 inquiry starts

Published July 31, 2021

Prominent Republicans downplay riot, question equal justice

Gary White 

The Ledger
As the U.S. House investigates the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, local opinions on what happened that day and how it is being investigated diverge dramatically along party lines.  While many Americans regard the insurrection, which disrupted the counting of votes in the 2020 presidential election, as one of the nation’s worst days, prominent local Republicans don’t see it that way.
 “I’d call it a protest with a little bit of riot in there because people damaged stuff,” said J.C. Martin, chairman of the Polk County Republican Party. “People who damage stuff should be prosecuted. But it’s certainly not an insurrection because insurrections don’t happen if nobody’s armed. It’s been so politicized by the Washington Democrats, as far as they’re trying to make this like it’s some overthrow of the government kind of thing. If people wanted to overthrow the government, I think they would probably have weapons.”
Merriam-Webster defines an insurrection as “an act or instance of revolting against civil authority or an established government.”
Royal Brown III, a Republican and Trump supporter from Winter Haven, called the Jan. 6 assembly a peaceful demonstration by citizens petitioning the government over what he insisted was “a stolen election.”
Catherine Price, chairwoman of the Polk County Democratic Party, described the riot as “an armed insurrection.”  “These people were there because of disinformation propagated by the president of the United States,” Price said in reference to former President Donald Trump. “And did some people get hurt? Yes. Were some people being very violent? Yes, they were. And do the Republicans want this to go away? Yes, they do. It’s a pretty hard thing to disavow.”
There have been no reports of guns found among those who breached the Capitol. Rioters did seize shields and batons from police and use them as weapons, according to court records, some used flagpoles to break windows and others carried chemical irritants and zip ties.   At least 535 people have been arrested in connection with the Capitol riot, and five Polk County residents have been indicted so far. At least three face charges of assaulting police officers.
Martin, a Winter Haven resident, accuses Democrats of exaggerating the seriousness of the Capitol breach for political gain. He repeatedly mentioned House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, in criticizing investigations of the Capitol attack. He accused the Department of Justice, which is overseeing the criminal cases, of being swayed by political concerns.  “Pelosi is playing politics with the Capitol Police and the (Joe) Biden Department of Justice,” Martin said. “They’re just trying to make this a political event, and that’s all they’re trying to do. I’m just disgusted by how they’ve handled the whole thing.”
A House select committee investigating the Capitol attack held its first hearing Tuesday. The committee is dominated by Democrats after earlier negotiations to create a bipartisan panel collapsed when Senate Republicans blocked passage.

Comparisons to 2020 riots

For three months after the 2020 election, Trump repeatedly insisted, without credible evidence, that he had actually won and that fraud had changed the outcome. Courts rejected nearly all of legal team’s challenges to results in several states.  
Members of Congress met on Jan. 6 to certify the Electoral College results from each state. For weeks in advance, Trump cited the gathering as the final chance to block Biden’s election, and during a rally that day he warned that Biden would be “an illegitimate president” and told supporters, “We can’t let that happen.”
Trump supporters fought with police officers, pushed down barricades and smashed glass to enter the Capitol. The chaos forced members of Congress to halt proceedings and flee their chambers. They returned hours later to resume discussions and soon ratified Biden’s election.
The U.S. Capitol Police’s union reported that more than 140 officers were injured. One, Brian Sicknick, died the next day as a result of strokes, according to a medical examiner’s report that ruled it a natural death. Two Capitol Police officers committed suicide within days of the attack.
One of the rioters, Ashli Babbitt, died after being shot by a police officer as she tried to enter a corridor just outside the House chamber.
In discussing Jan. 6 and its aftermath, Martin repeatedly invoked the violence that erupted in some cities last year following the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.  “As far as I’m concerned, it’s (Jan. 6) a protest that’s in the past, just like all these city protests where all the cities got burned, except that because there were Republicans that were protesting, they’re actually getting tried in courts,” he said, “where in Democrat cities, they’re just letting all these people that burned down all these minority businesses to the ground, they’re just letting them walk.”
Prosecutors in Portland indeed have declined to prosecute most of those arrests during demonstrations last summer and offered deferred prosecution agreements to some accused of assaulting police officers.
Brown said those in attendance on Jan. 6, including his wife, Glynnda White, demanded that Congress “do the right thing” and not certify Electoral College votes from Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, states that Biden won.
Brown, president of the Winter Haven 9-12 Project, said that no looting occurred at the Capitol, though government officials say the rioting caused more than $2 million in damage. Brown’s emailed responses to questions included many references to Black Lives Matter and Antifa, a loose affiliation of far-left groups.

This image taken on Jan. 6 shows Jonathan Pollock of Lakeland holding a riot shield taken from an officer as he approaches the U.S. Capitol, according to an arrest affidavit.

“Nothing was looted or burned down as in multiple incidents by BLM/ANTIFA over the year 2020, no one was shot and murdered in broad daylight as done by BLM/ANTIFA activists in 2020, no cops beaten or killed as in multiple incidents by BLM/ANTIFA over 2020,” Brown wrote.
Price, of Lake Wales, said those who committed crimes during rioting that swirled out of social-justice protests last summer should be prosecuted, just as she wants to see Capitol rioters held accountable.  “The position I would always take is in a peaceful society there’s never a justification for people becoming violent in these kind of situations,” Price said. “So I would never justify that under any circumstances, and I would expect the law to deal with people fairly in either situation.”

‘Murder’ of Babbitt

The fatal shooting of Babbitt has become a point of partisan contention. Video shows that she was among a group of rioters outside the Speaker’s Lobby, a corridor that borders the House chamber. As others kicked at doors and smashed windows, Babbitt tried to climb over a door and an officer shot her through the glass.
The Department of Justice investigated and cleared the officer, who has not been publicly named. Trump has claimed that the officer was head of security for a “high-ranking” Democrat in Congress, though the law enforcement sources have refuted that, according to NBC News.
Martin said the officer should be identified.  “How is that transparent democracy, when the guy kills a protester and Nancy Pelosi tells the Capitol Police to keep it secret?” Martin said. “That’s just ridiculous.”
Brown called Babbitt’s fatal shooting a murder and said it had not been investigated.
Though Martin and other Republicans describe Pelosi as controlling the Capitol Police, the reality is more complicated. Congress has oversight of the agency through committees in both houses, consisting of Democrats and Republicans. The Capitol Police Board, which directs security at the Capitol, includes members who must be confirmed by Congress.
Price dismissed Republican efforts to portray Babbitt as a martyr and said law-enforcement officers displayed “a great deal of restraint” during the riot.  “What were these police officers supposed to do when this woman started coming through the window in the House chamber?” Price said. “They don’t know what these people are armed with. These people have breached the perimeters around the Capitol. They don’t know if they’ve got weapons.”
Kat Gates-Skipper of Lake Wales, president of the Veterans Republican Club of Polk County, said she has many friends who traveled to Washington for Trump’s rally on Jan. 6. She said none of them entered the Capitol.  “The main purpose of that day was to do a peaceful protest — sorry, a peaceful gathering,” she said. “I do not use the word ‘protest.’ It was a peaceful gathering of supporters, and they were there as Americans to show support but not to have any, no protest, no breaking laws, no nothing.”  Gates-Skipper said that a few “renegades” broke off and engaged in violence.  “And some of those could have been, I don’t know, could have been Trump supporters,” she said. “But you and I weren’t there. We don’t know how they reacted, so we can’t specifically say.”

Capitol police officers in riot gear push back demonstrators who try to break a door of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington.

Claims of agitators

Many who fought with police or entered the Capitol wore clothing bearing Trump’s name, and some made statements on social media indicating their loyalty to him. All of the local suspects have been identified as Trump supporters.
But Gates-Skipper said she thinks the mob included Democrats and members of Black Lives Matter who intended to cause trouble. Asked how she knows that, she said friends who were at the Capitol overheard conversations and shot video to support the claim.  “They witnessed a lot of things, and they want to remain anonymous and I trust these people that have given me this information,” she said. “So it was witnessed, it was documented.”
Martin declined to acknowledge that the Capitol attack was carried out by Trump supporters.  “People have different motivations,” he said. “I don’t know. I wasn’t there, so I couldn’t tell you whether somebody that’s dragging a Trump flag has been identified as a Trump supporter or whether it was somebody that was actually a Trump supporter.”
Brown described the Jan. 6 riot as a Capitol Police “setup” and claimed that many who took part represented Black Lives Matter or Antifa. He cited videos that he said showed officers allowing demonstrators to enter the building.  “The only ‘destruction’ that occurred was a BLM/ANTIFA person trying to break a window,” Brown wrote. “Trump supporters are on video pulling this person repeatedly off this window.”
Brown claimed that “agitators” from BLM and Antifa positioned themselves on light poles and statues with megaphones and urged others to storm the Capitol. He said Trump supporters ignored those pleas.
Brown cited as an example of an agitator “the idiot and obvious non-Trump supporter with no shirt and wearing horns.” That description fits Jake Angeli, also known as Jacob Chansley, who has been widely identified as a Trump loyalist and a proponent of QAnon, a far-right conspiracy theory claiming that Trump aimed to unearth a cabal of Satanic child traffickers led by Democrats and Hollywood celebrities.

This photo, included in the FBI affidavit that led to Corinne Montoni's arrest, shows the Lakeland woman inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, an FBI agent reported.

Asked for evidence of a Capitol Police “setup,” Brown cited video showing Capitol Police opened doors and invited demonstrators into the building. The lapses in security on Jan. 6 are one subject the House committee plans to investigate, but the first hearing included testimony from officers who fought against rioters.  Brown alleged that Pelosi refused requests to add security before the expected demonstration. That echoes a claim by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, that Pelosi vetoed requests for a National Guard presence, though in fact the president has sole authority to activate the Guard.  The House Sergeant at Arms, who later resigned, resisted requests from the Capitol Police to bring in Guard troops for support, according to Politifact. The Sergeant at Arms reports to Pelosi.
Martin called for authorities to release all video shot at the Capitol on Jan. 6. The FBI has relied on videos from officers’ body cameras for many arrest warrants, including those of some local suspects, and has released still images. But the video, part of the evidence in those cases, has not been made public.  Altogether, investigators are examining more than 16,000 hours of video, NPR reported.
Martin blasted the Capitol Police for announcing that it will open a field office in Tampa (along with one in San Francisco), in part to investigate threats made against members of Congress. A spokesman said the majority of threats come from Florida or California.
Florida has had more residents arrested on Jan. 6 charges than any other state.  “And the fact that they want to make this more of a thing by opening up a U.S. Capitol Police office in Tampa now?” Martin said. “Just to try to expand on this whole issue for political gain is just ridiculous.”

‘Prosecuted by media’

Brown questioned whether those accused in the Jan. 6 attack are receiving due process. He claimed that some are being held “under deplorable conditions” and being denied their constitutional rights to a speedy trial and defense counsel.  “Are they not entitled to be assumed innocent until proven guilty?” Brown wrote. “It doesn’t appear so — in fact it appears they are being prosecuted by the media in the court of public opinion by leftists. If they are charged under the unconstitutional Patriot Act and held indefinitely without charges this is wrong.”  Most of the Jan. 6 suspects have been released as they await trial, but some have been held in solitary confinement before trial. Even some Democrats, such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, have criticized that practice, while the D.C. Department of Corrections said it is intended for the safety of the defendants and jail guards.
Gates-Skipper said anyone proven to have committed crimes at the Capitol should face justice. But she said she understood why many questioned the FBI’s evidence against Jonathan Pollock, a North Lakeland resident who is accused of assaulting three officers, in reaction to a recent Facebook post from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office seeking assistance in finding him.  “The American people have lost faith in our justice,” she said. “That’s why you get those comments, because they have lost faith in what’s right and what’s wrong, how things have been (taken) out of context.”
Price and Gates-Skipper did find concurrence on one matter: They want to see the nation’s leaders address serious issues rather than get bogged down in squabbles over the Jan. 6 investigation. But they offered clashing descriptions of the import of the Capitol breach.
Gates-Skipper said the media was “making a mountain out of a molehill” in coverage of Jan. 6 and its aftermath.  “I’ll be glad when this whole thing is over, to be honest with you,” she said. “I’m sick and tired of hearing about this thing of Jan. 6. We’ve got other things to worry about.”
Price said the criminal investigations are proceeding as they should, but she worries that congressional disputes over the House’s Jan. 6 probe are diverting attention from such matters as the COVID-19 pandemic, health care and the environment.
“We’ve got serious problems in this country and in the world, and what’s happening is people are arguing over these kinds of ridiculous things,” Price said. “We as a community need to come together, and we need to start dealing with the real issues that are going on instead of this kind of tit-for-tat business.”
Gary White can be reached at gary.white@theledger.com or 863-802-7518. Follow on Twitter @garywhite13.

Polk County GOP 2021 Patriot Day Dinner

The Polk County GOP annual Patriot Day Dinner returns.

Join us on May 8th at the beautiful Lake Eva Convention Center in Haines City as we award the”Patriot of the Year

Buy Tickets

Join us on May 8th at the beautiful Lake Eva Convention Center in Haines City as we award the”Patriot of the Year” to a deserving Polk county conservative Republican. Past winners have included Sheriff Grady Judd and Sam Killebrew.

Dinner will be a delicious no-contact buffet style dinner served by catering staff, all safety precautions will be taken by catering staff. Cash Bar on site.

Confirmed speakers this year are:

  • Sheriff Grady Judd
  • Representative Greg Steube – US House District 17
  • Representative Scott Franklin – US House District 15

Cost is $75 per person.

Sponsorships Available:

  • Group Table Sponsorship! $ 1,000.00; Covers all 8 tickets for your table plus recognition of your group or business.
  • Individual/Business:
  • Gold: $ 5,000.00 – name included in the Program, signage, recognition from podium, inclusion in radio ads and specific banners at the event  
  • Silver: $ 2,500.00 – name included in the Program, signage, recognition from podium
  • Bronze: $ 1,000.00 – name included in the Program  
  • $500.00, $250.00 & $100.00 sponsorships also available.

For more information Contact Event Coordinator:
Glynnda White
Phone: 407-401-4162
E-mail: glynndaw@hotmail.com



Meet Mike Musick –

Mike and his wife, Niki, have lived in Lakeland for more than 40 years. They have three college-aged children: Parker, Britain and Remington. Mike is a ‘91 graduate of Lakeland Christian School. Niki is a ‘92 graduate of Lakeland High School. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Southeastern University.

The Musick family enjoys traveling, sports and their three dogs – Sasha, Captain and Tyler.


Mike established Musick Construction & Roofing more than 20 years ago. His goal is to give his customers a construction experience beyond their expectations.

As a small business owner in Lakeland, Mike’s goal as a commissioner would be to help eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy and red tape so that other local business owners can thrive in their professions.


As a high school track athlete at Lakeland Christian School, Mike won multiple state championships in the half mile. Athletics helped Mike to learn the importance of discipline and hard work. For the past 12 years, Mike has coached cross country and track with the goal of passing on the same love for sports to future generations like his dad did as his coach.

Mike will use this strong work ethic as he fights for the citizens of Lakeland.


Mike, Niki and their kids have been on dozens of missions trips to more than 20 countries around the world.

Mike is currently a deacon at Heritage Baptist Church where he also serves on the missions committee. He is on the board of Camp Gilead in Polk City, Florida, and the founder of Leverage Ministries.

Mike’s love for people and his desire to help is the reason he seeks out opportunities to serve.

The City of Lakeland Special Election will be held on Tuesday, April 6, 2021.
Please vote Mike Musick to fill the City Commission Southeast District D seat.

Governor Ron DeSantis’ powerful State of the State Address

Governor Ron DeSantis’ powerful State of the State Address

Governor Ron DeSantis delivered his third State of the State Address to a joint session of the Florida Legislature Tuesday at the launch of the 2021 session. It was a powerful speech with a moving video of a diversity of Floridians being thankful for the opportunities and hope that Governor DeSantis provided this past year by diligently defending their freedoms.

During his speech, Governor DeSantis honored those who have died from COVID, recognizing the toll the virus has taken on family members, by directing the state of Florida to lower the flags to half-staff today. 

“We are saddened by the thousands of Floridians – and hundreds of thousands of Americans – who have died with COVID. And we sympathize with the family members who in many instances were not even permitted to see their loved ones in person, at a nursing home or in the hospital.” ~ Governor Ron DeSantis

Below are some highlights from his address, or you can watch the whole speech here:

To watch the video presentation that played during the speech, go here:

Florida is the brightest spot in Covid response

“While so many other states kept locking people down, Florida lifted people up.

“Florida’s schools are open – and we are one of only a handful of states in which every parent has a right to send a child to school in-person. All Floridians have a right to earn a living – and our citizens are employed at higher rates than those in the nation as a whole.

“Every job is essential. If you are working hard to earn a living, we got your back in the state of Florida. Every business in Florida has a right to operate. We have stood up for small, family-owned businesses and have saved thousands of them from ruin.

“Because of our actions, Florida is leading the nation in the number of people submitting business formation applications and we are one of the top destinations for business relocation.

“Friends, legislators, Floridians, lend me your ears: We will not let anybody close your schools, we will not let anybody take your jobs and we will not let anybody close your businesses!”


Florida’s fiscal responsibility pays off

“Because Florida’s economy is open, revenue is coming in at levels far higher than even the most recent revised estimates. For the last three months – December to February – preliminary estimates peg the increase in revenue at more than $800 million over and above the December revenue estimation. 

“Florida is below the national average in unemployment and much lower than our peer states of TX, NY, and CA. We also anticipate downward revisions of December’s unemployment numbers to reflect even stronger jobs numbers.

“Throughout the pandemic, Florida has not touched one red cent from our rainy day fund.”

Standing behind law enforcement 

Working with President Simpson, Speaker Sprowls and law enforcement groups across the state, we have proposed the strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement reforms in the nation. We will not permit localities to jeopardize the safety of their citizens by indulging in the insane fantasy of defunding law enforcement.

We will not allow our cities to burn and violence to rule the streets. And we will not leave any doubt in the minds of those who wear the uniform that the state of Florida stands with you. 

Tackling Big Tech

“Big Tech wields monopolistic power over the public in ways that would have made the monopolists of the early 20th century blush. Floridians have a right to control their personal data and Big Tech should not be able to make billions of dollars off us without our informed consent.

“Florida has always been a state that strongly supports free speech, and we cannot allow the contours of acceptable speech to be adjudicated by the whims of oligarchs in Silicon Valley. Nor we can allow Floridians to be ‘de-platformed’ or silenced with no means of recourse, and this is especially true of those who rely on these technology platforms for their livelihoods.”

“Finally, because Florida is dedicated to free and fair elections, we cannot allow Big Tech to interfere in our elections by putting a thumb on the scale for political candidates favored by Silicon Valley.


Leading on free and fair elections

“Speaking of elections, we should take a moment to enjoy the fact that Florida ran perhaps the most transparent and efficient election in the nation in 2020. People actually asked, why cannot these other states be like Florida? Such a sentiment would have been unthinkable twenty years ago.

“We need to make sure our elections are transparent and run efficiently. There should be no ballot harvesting in the state of Florida. One person, one vote.

“We also cannot allow private groups to pour millions of dollars into the administration of our elections. That is a public function and should be done free from this type of private interference.

RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters named Chairman of RNC Election Integrity Committee

RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters named Chairman of RNC Election Integrity Committee

The Republican Party of Florida congratulates Chairman Joe Gruters on his appointment, by Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, to the newly formed Committee on Election Integrity dedicated to restoring election transparency and ensuring voters have confidence in future election processes. 

“It is a great privilege for me, and an honor for the State of Florida, to be named by the RNC to such an important committee, coming as it does on the heels of a national election with so many irregularities creating distrust,” said Gruters, who is also a state Senator. “In Florida, we have created a system where we ensure that every legal vote counts, making it as easy as possible to vote and as hard as possible to cheat. We’ve shown clearly that even in a large, diverse state, elections can be fair, free and transparent with results delivered in a timely manner.”

Also appointed as a member of the Committee on Election Integrity is Florida National Committeewoman Kathleen King, further cementing Florida’s recognized success in election integrity.

We have included the full press release from the RNC below.


Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel Announces New Election Integrity Committee 

WASHINGTON, D.C – Today, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel announced the formation of the new Committee on Election Integrity dedicated to restoring election transparency and ensuring voters have confidence in future election processes. 
“Election integrity is one of the most critical issues we face as a Party and as a country. What we saw this past election – states undoing important safeguards, bypassing the proper legislative processes, and changing election laws in the eleventh hour – was deeply troubling and brought chaos and uncertainty to our sacred democratic processes. As RNC Chair, I will not sit idly by and the Party will respond. The RNC will play a crucial role in restoring confidence in our elections, promoting election integrity, and recommending best practices to ensure that future elections are free, fair, and transparent.” – RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel
This past cycle, the RNC ran its most comprehensive legal strategy to date, spending more than $30 million on election protection efforts in battleground states across the country. The Committee on Election Integrity represents a renewed focus on continuing this important work and fighting Democrats’ unprecedented attempts to change election laws.  This committee will work closely with state parties and other stakeholders in our elections across the country on voting policies and best practices, such as ensuring poll watchers are allowed to properly observe counting processes, meaningful voter ID laws are codified, and all Americans have faith in our elections process.
The RNC Committee on Election Integrity will be chaired by Florida Republican Party Chairman Joe Gruters, with Ashley MacLeay, National Committeewoman from the District of Columbia, serving as Co-Chair. The full temporary RNC committee will consist of 12 men and 12 women, representing the RNC from 21 states and the District of Columbia.

Lake Wales Commissioner Al Goldstein Runs for Re-election to Seat 4

Lake Wales Commissioner Al Goldstein Runs for Re-election to Seat 4

Al Goldstein was first elected in April 2019 to Seat 4, District 27

“I’m finally understanding the job of a city commissioner,” Goldstein said. “Either you’re dedicated to the job, as some of us are now, or you just go in and show up.”

“Accountability – that should be our motto right now,” Goldstein said. “We have a mission statement coming out, but I think we should use the word accountability. I jumped all over that word.

“Accountability. That’s us. That’s what we stand for.”

Since commissioners are not allowed to discuss city business with each other outside of official meetings, Goldstein said the workshops have been eye opening and have promoted better decision making and open communications.

“We don’t always agree – when we get into conversations and get down deep in problems we are able to see things we weren’t able to see before,” said Goldstein, who strongly opposed the city’s mask mandate that was approved by a 3-2 vote. “Even if they get upset with one another, that’s fine, we just work things out.”

Goldstein stops by city hall several times a week and meets with City Manager James Slaton and some of his key staff to better understand city operations.

Goldstein said he is pleased with the city’s progress during his first 16 months in the job, including road paving, park improvements, purchasing the YMCA, sale of the historic 1919 building to the Lake Wales Charter Schools and work on better police community relations.

“I really want to be proud of my city. We’re on the right track now,” Goldstein said. “We have a good board that understands each other.”

Goldstein said he has learned a lot this year serving on the Florida League of Cities Federal Action Strike Team and was pleased to recently be named chairman of the league’s legislative committee on land use and economic development.

“I wish I was 50 years old right now – now that I see how political action works it gives me incentive to work harder,” said Goldstein, who just turned 79. “There are programs I didn’t even know were available to our city – dollar savings programs. I don’t want to be behind other cities in the county or in the state.”

Growing business, jobs, affordable and executive housing are all important to Goldstein, who says he is upset about the deteriorating condition of the Eagle Ridge Mall, and because “the mall is a disgrace, I’m glad we don’t have a sign ‘Welcome to Lake Wales’ at the north end of our city.”

He expresses concerns that corporations have chosen to bypass Lake Wales for nearby communities, like Frostproof. He also wants more accountability for the funds the city pays the Lake Wales Area Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Committee and Lake Wales Main Street to attract business.

“I’m not only challenging the Chamber of Commerce, but I’m challenging us on the commission,” Goldstein said. “We shouldn’t take criticism personally – we have to think of criticism as building blocks.”

Goldstein frequently speaks about his commitment to the city’s northwest community and wants the city to develop a Black music and cultural center to help minority children have pride in their heritage. But he often reminds commissioners that they must consider needs throughout the city.

“We’re going to be a great city – I think we have some great years ahead of us,” he said.


Goldstein has cultivated relationships at the local, state and national level, receiving endorsements from state Rep. Melony Bell, Sheriff Grady Judd and Polk County Commissioner Bill Braswell.

“Al is a man of unwavering principle with a strong conservative foundation,” Braswell wrote in an endorsement letter addressed to the citizens of Lake Wales. “He is an asset to the community and has shown to be a leader during his first term in office. Al is committed to his community and can be counted on to make the tough decisions required of a city commissioner.”

Goldstein chairs the Florida League of Cities Land Use and Economic Development Committee and serves on the Federal Action Strike Team, which visits Washington DC to discuss legislative issues at the national level. He has worked closely with Bell and other lawmakers to advocate for Lake Wales.

Bell said she was honored to endorse Goldstein for re-election.

“He has shown strong leadership from the time he was sworn into office by hitting the ground running. He began by educating himself on the budget and the needs of the city,” Bell wrote in her endorsement. “Al has been a positive voice for Lake Wales by advocating at our Capitol in Tallahassee. He is a true believer in “home rule” when elected officials from Municipalities should rule by making policy on a local level instead of the State of Florida. He is always demanding that Tallahassee Legislators do not put any unfunded mandates on municipalities.”

In his endorsement of Goldstein, Judd wrote: “Commissioner Goldstein is honest and ethical. He listens to his constituents and makes decisions in the best interest of all the city residents, rather than rendering knee jerk positions out of emotion. That is why I support Al for reelection.”

Goldstein said he is thankful for the endorsements from Bell, Judd and Braswell and “for all those who have supported me and the folks who didn’t know or support me previously are finding out that I am a commissioner that works for all our city and will continue to do that.

“My exposure working with county commissioners, state representatives and all the FLC has been educational and has contributed to my growth as a representative of our city, and I believe it is helping guide the growth of our city.”

Meet Al Goldstein :

Goldstein and his wife of 31 years, Shirley, moved to Lake Ashton six years ago, returning to his home state. His family traces its Florida roots back to 1845, and Goldstein grew up in Hollywood in South Florida. He served as a U.S. Marine, worked in government and contract services and owned his own business prior to retiring in 1995. Al was the former 1st Vice Chair of the Polk County Republican Executive Committee.

“I’ve had my years of playing golf,” Goldstein said. “I fished as a kid. Maybe if I’m alive and well by the time my time is over with the city I can go back to doing some fishing.”


Reporting from LakeWalesNews.Net