Editor, The Beacon:
Please let the truth be told … I disagree with the premise that District 1 Volusia County Council Member Barb Girtman lost her re-election because she is a registered Democrat and Republicans turned out to vote more than Democrats this election season.
I, a registered Democrat, and others I know who don’t vote along party lines voted for Ms. Girtman when she ran for the District 1 seat on the County Council the first time in 2018 and, after witnessing her performance on the County Council, did not vote for her this round in 2022.
Let us not forget, Ms. Girtman originally ran against and beat two dyed-in-the-wool Republicans for her County Council seat in 2018.
Her two opponents in 2018 were Jeff Brower, who went on to later win the Volusia County chair seat, and ingrained Republican politician Pat Patterson, the incumbent at the time, who had served at the highest levels in Florida politics as an elected member of the Florida House of Representatives for several terms.
Patterson served on the County Council for several different terms to include serving as county chair. So it is easy to see the odds were against Ms. Girtman in 2018, but she won based on her platform and messaging, and Republicans, Democrats and NPAs voted for her.
In 2022, Ms. Girtman had the advantage of being the incumbent, she had the advantage of being supported by many of the ingrained establishment politicians, and she had the advantage of having a lot of money, some of it being money that came from Volusia’s eastside developers and power brokers.
So let’s be honest, Ms. Girtman lost in 2022 because she was condescending to many of those who had previously supported her.
She became part of the bureaucracy and the establishment, and we all started to see through the cutesy sayings, the big smiles, and well-timed giggles, and what she sold us in 2018 was never delivered.
In the end, many of us voted for Don Dempsey, who did little campaigning and raised no money, because we were voting for anyone other than Barb Girtman, who had failed us.
Keith L. Chester