And The Winner Is? Dems Choose Randolph To Replace Earl K. Wood
In a closed-to-the media meeting last night in Orlando, the Orange County Democratic Executive Committee picked Scott Randolph as the nominee to replace recently deceased Orange County Tax Collector, Earl K. Wood.
Wood passed away on Monday at the age of 96, kicking off a furious debate over who should serve as his potential replacement.
Randolph’s name was immediately thrown into the fire, as well as former Orlando City Commissioner Phil Diamond, an accountant, and former Tax Collector candidate, Rod Eddins.
The committee held a special meeting on Wednesday night to determine who should hold court as Wood’s successor and Randolph emerged victorious. He defeated at least four candidates vying for their chance to fill Wood’s shoes, something Randolph has experience in doing.
He is a seasoned politico with deft knowledge about how to win an election. Randolph put that knowledge to use and made his way to the top of the heap. Not only that, Randolph has the most name recognition locally. Whether one loves or hates him, the last name Randolph is sure to spring a reaction from those well versed in Orlando politics.
Scott and his wife Susannah were recently named as one of Orlando’s most powerful couples by Orlando Magazine. And Scott made the list on his own, because of his work as a state representative.
So, now it is on to the next step. Because Orange County ballots have been sent to print, Wood’s name will still appear on the ballot, not Randolph’s. Scott will just get credit for any votes cast for Mr. Wood.
But this will not come so easy for Randolph. He does have a Republican challenger in lobbyist Jim Huckeba for the position of Tax Collector. Huckeba has openly stated his disdain for the position of Tax Collector, stating that if elected he would like to see the office eliminated.
Huckeba’s position on the collector’s office is an activist one, as many Orange County residents share his view. Can Randolph overcome that trivial hurdle?
In the end, I say no matter. As we inch closer to November 6th, it is widely expected that Randolph will carry enough votes to win the job as Orange County’s lead tax man, something that will bring great joy to local Democrats.
Randolph is qualified for the job; check out his work while he served on the tax and finance committee in the state Legislature. And besides, he is a proven public servant.
He deserves to win.