News Flash

Message from Sheriff Grady Judd regarding protests.

Message from Sheriff Grady Judd

regarding protests.

June 1, 2020

My heart is full with gratitude for our community today. Monday night we had zero incidents of protest-related violence. There were three protests in Polk County—all were peaceful—there was no sign of outside agitators. Yesterday, Chief Ruben Garcia and I, along with Reverend Arthur Johnson and community leader Don Brown spoke to the media about our community-wide commitment to peaceful assembly in Polk County.
During the news conference I reminded everyone: “Let there be no misunderstanding, at all, that if you come here to riot, to loot, to injure people, we’re going to lock you up in the county jail before quick.”
I also said: “The message is clear, if you come here to peaceably assemble and protest, we’re gonna make sure we protect your constitutional right to do that and we encourage it. But for those who want to come in, stealthily, among those wonderful people who are simply making their position known, the ones that tried to infiltrate, we are going to hunt you down and lock you up if you engage in any criminal conduct.”
And, I told those at the meeting that we had received information on social media that some folks were threatening to take their criminal conduct into the neighborhoods. That’s not a good idea in Polk County: “I would tell them, if you value your life, they probably shouldn’t do that in Polk County. Because the people of Polk County like guns, they have guns, I encourage them to own guns, and they’re going to be in their homes tonight with their guns loaded, and if you try to break into their homes to steal, to set fires, I’m highly recommending they blow you back out of the house with their guns. So, leave the community alone.”
My thanks go out to those who helped organize the peaceful protests in Polk County. This is a great, safe, peace-loving community. I am also thankful for our great Lakeland Police Department and other law enforcement partners for their professional work, and our own men and women who were out in force Sunday and Monday nights, keeping our community safe. As always, if you need us we are here. God bless, Grady

Opening Up America Guidelines

President Trump and the White House Coronavirus Task Force have led an unprecedented, comprehensive, and aggressive whole of America and data-driven approach to slow the spread of the virus. This early and decisive response started in JanuaryThe Opening Up America Guidelines is a measured approach that will reopen the economy but protect American’s safety.

  • The President has helped our country become the world leader in testing.
    • More than 9 million tests have been conducted, far more than any other country.
    • More than 92 different tests have been authorized by the FDA.
    • The Administration secured is sending $11 billion to help states to help meet testing goals.
    • 12 million testing swabs will be sent to states. 
    • The FDA has authorized coronavirus antigen tests.
    • Approximately 300,000 tests per day are being conducted.
    • In major hot spots, we are conducting 2x, 3x, or even 4x the per capita testing major countries are doing.
  • The entire Federal Government is working in record time to develop a vaccine. There are multiple promising candidates.
    • The administration is also working to deliver therapeutics to treat patients in need.
  • President Trump has led the largest national mobilization since World War II to deliver Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and supplies.
    • 100,000 ventilators will be manufactured in 100 days. No person who has needed a ventilator has gone without one.
  • We have strengthened the strategic national stockpile for any challenge.
    • The President secured close to $16 billion for critical supplies for the stockpile.
  • President Trump has worked to bring manufacturing back to the United States. We must never rely on another country to produce supplies for our own security.
  • President Trump has helped secure economic relief for small businesses, workers, and hospitals that were hardest hit.
    • The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provided $670 billion in loans.
    • The President built the strongest economy in the world and he will do so again.
    • President Trump was the right leader at the right time to get us through this pandemic.
  • Together, we will emerge from this pandemic stronger and more united than before.

Message from Polk Commissioners Chairman Bill Braswell regarding COVID-19

Message from Polk Commissioners Chairman Bill Braswell regarding COVID-19

May 27, 2020
To date Polk County has tested over 18,000 individuals for COVID-19 with 880 testing positive.   Fifty people have unfortunately lost their lives, 31 of the 50 were in nursing homes. We are averaging over 750 new tests per day.  
Over the last 4 weeks in reverse we have had 112, 110, 108, and 108 new positives. We have flat lined for at least one month.  Today we started antibody testing to determine how widespread we may have been infected, more details on this when I have some results.
We continue to see more individuals and small businesses apply and receive Polk Cares 2020 money. Keep those applications coming.
As the board continues to work out next years budget we remain focused on our priority, public safety. We are currently moving forward with 4 new fire/EMS stations. We are also moving up construction of the new government center between Lake Alfred and Haines City. By refinancing outstanding bonds (9 million dollar savings), moving construction forward ( 1 million dollar savings), and using money that was budgeted and not spent in this years budget we are able to go ahead with these projects and reduce property taxes for next next year.
I want to encourage everyone to get out and live your lives. COVID-19 is here forever so if you are vulnerable act accordingly. We must respect others while getting back to our normal routines. Shop and buy local when you can.

Josie Tomkow – Florida House District 39  Honored as Children’s Home Society Legislator of the Year

Josie Tomkow – Florida House District 39 

Honored as Children’s Home Society Legislator of the Year

Children’s Home Society named Rep. Josie Tomkow the 2020 Legislator of the Year for her commitment to strengthen the child welfare system and improve lifetime outcomes for children. CHS local leaders, board members and friends surprised Representative Josie Tomkow with a drive-thru celebration on May 18 celebrating her 2020 Legislator of the year award!

RNC Intervenes in Democrat Lawsuit to Protect Election Integrity in Florida

Press Release from the Republican National Committee sent on 5/21/20:


RNC Intervenes in Democrat Lawsuit to Protect Election Integrity in Florida

WASHINGTON – Today, the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the Republican Party of Florida intervened in a radical lawsuit that Democrats brought in Florida as part of their nationwide assault on the integrity of our elections.

“Democrats never let a crisis go to waste, and they are using a pandemic to completely destroy the integrity of our elections. Their latest attempt to circumvent election law in Florida would allow paid operatives to go door-to-door to collect and deliver thousands of ballots, as well as allow votes to be counted after Election Day. This unnecessarily exposes Florida to potential fraud. Republicans will not sit on the sidelines while Democrats try to sue their way to victory in 2020 because they know they cannot beat President Trump in November.” – RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel
“Democrats continue to try and use every trick in the book to unfairly tilt the election in their favor. The NRCC is proud to partner with the RNC and the Florida GOP to stop Democrats’ unconstitutional efforts to rob Floridians of their voting rights.” – NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer

“Once again national Democrats are coming into Florida trying to change our election laws by judicial fiat right before the 2020 election in an attempt to steal as many votes as possible in President Trump’s home state.  We will do whatever we can to defeat this partisan lawsuit and ensure that every eligible voter in Florida has the opportunity to vote safely and securely.” – RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters

Democrats’ Election Power Grab in Florida:
This case is a prime example of Democrats and their liberal allies seeking to exploit coronavirus as an excuse to attack popular election integrity measures by asking judges to legislate from the bench. Democrats sued Florida and all 67 of its county supervisors of elections, demanding they willfully ignore and violate Florida election law by:
  • Prohibiting enforcement of the state’s ban on ballot harvesting. Despite their fear mongering over the dangers of voting in person in Wisconsin, Democrats are happy to facilitate the spread of coronavirus and jeopardize the integrity of the ballot through door-to-door ballot harvesting if it will help them politically.
  • Allow ballots to be counted after Election Day. By forcing the state to count ballots that arrive after Election Day, county election offices will be needed to verify ballots for weeks after the election, potentially delaying the outcome of the election and opening the door for fraud and unnecessary litigation. A recent Democrat-leaning survey showed that 83% of voters support a ballot receipt deadline of Election Day, and the RNC recently won a big victory at the U.S. Supreme Court, which denied Democrats’ attempts at allowing ballots to be cast and counted after Election Day.
The RNC’s intervention in Neilsen v. DeSantis comes on the heels of another recent legal victory in Florida, in which the party defended Florida’s longstanding ballot order law against a challenge by Democrats. As a result, President Trump will appear at the top of Florida’s ballot.
The RNC continues to fight back against the Democrats’ assault on the integrity of our elections by intervening in left-wing backed lawsuits across the country. On Wednesday, Chairwoman McDaniel demanded Nevada’s Attorney General investigate election chaos brought on by a similar Democrat lawsuit. Last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court handed us a big victory, throwing out a left-wing lawsuit to allow ballots to be counted after Election Day. Similar radical lawsuits are being fought in states like Michigan, New Mexico, and Arizona. The RNC recently doubled its legal budget to $20 million to fight these efforts, and you can learn more about them at