110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Beacon Staff
posted Aug 3, 2012 - 10:39:38am
Editor’s note: Welcome to “Campaign Diary,” a collection of election tidbits contributed by members of The Beacon staff, as we march along the campaign trail, following those who seek elected office on this year’s crowded ballots.
An e-mail sent a year ago has resurfaced to haunt County Council District 5 candidate Rich Gailey.
Gailey wrote the e-mail to fellow DeBary resident Joy Brinkman Aug. 3, 2011, as neighbors rallied to fight a RaceTrac gas station planned on DeBary Avenue near their homes.
DeBary resident and Realtor Carolyn Evans spearheaded the campaign, with help from Brinkman and others, including Gailey.
About a week before the matter came before the DeBary City Council, Gailey sent the e-mail, outlining the remarks he planned to make at the City Council meeting, and commenting on the plans for Evans’ remarks.
Gailey said his comments were misunderstood, and that he sent a subsequent e-mail to clarify his words.
“This was one e-mail, taken out of context,” he said.
Gailey said he thought he had worked it out with Evans and Brinkman.
“I talked to Joy and Carolyn a couples of times, and their husbands,” he said. “They understood what I was trying to say.”
At the Old Enterprise Chili Cookoff in February, Gailey said, Evans started talking about the e-mail again.
It’s politically motivated, he added, noting both women have rival candidate Pat Northey’s signs in their yards.
Evans said Gailey asked for her support at the Chili Cookoff. She told him she couldn’t support him.
Evans said Brinkman, to whom Gailey addressed his e-mail, is “very analytical, very numbers oriented and very smart,” and was CEO of a masonry and paver company in Orlando. To suggest that such a woman “ask her husband” how to address City Council members was offensive, Evans said.
“To send that to someone like her is shocking,” Evans added.
She forwarded the e-mail to a number of people with Brinkman’s permission.
Several of them told The Beacon about it.
Brinkman said, “I vividly remember that e-mail,” adding, “If that’s his opinion of women, and especially women that have an opinion, he made his position clear, and I was insulted by it.”
Brinkman said she has run Cobble Systems for many years, first as chief financial officer, then as CEO.
“Needless to say, I have someone else’s political banner in my yard,” Brinkman said.
Gailey told The Beacon he does not have a problem with women, but he’s being portrayed as someone who doesn’t like them.
“All the workers in my campaign are women, and my mother raised me,” he said.
Gailey had a few words about rival candidate Northey, who didn’t show up for a District 5 candidate forum July 28. Gailey disputed Northey’s statement to The Beacon, that her absence was due to her sister flying in from overseas the day before.
Gailey said it was because Northey wanted to avoid the debate.
He said he extended many invitations to appear publicly with Northey, and even sent her a certified letter challenging her to a debate, and she has never responded.
Northey replied that she has attended every joint appearance and campaign function with the exception of this one, which she could not attend due to a family obligation.
She did receive a certified letter from Gailey, she said, to which she did not respond, because it did not address anything that had not been addressed already.
The third candidate in the District 5 race is Realtor Stony Sixma. He’s a man.
Check out the Volusia County Council District 1 candidates and county-chair candidates when they come together to meet the public at a forum 7-9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3, at First Baptist Church of DeLeon Springs, 4995 Central Ave.
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