• Gerry James Supported By Sarah Palin In Three-Way Race

    June 13, 2024
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    Doral, Florida - This week Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska and vice presidential candidate, and a continuing icon of grassroots conservatives, participated in an online fundraising conference for Gerry James, the conservative, MAGA and America First candidate in the Republican primary election for State Senate District 7, around St. Augustine, on Tuesday, August 20, with two weeks of early voting.

    Gerry is in a three-way primary race with two other candidates representing different constituencies: (1) Representative Tom Leek for the insurance industry; (2) David Shoar, former Sheriff of St. John’s County, for the trial lawyers; and (3) Gerry James for We The People:

    1. Representative Tom Leek is looking to move up to the State Senate after reaching his term limits. He has served as Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, overseeing insurance legislation which favors the interests of insurance companies, over the interests not only of their insured customers, but also of the trial lawyers who litigate insurance disputes. On his watch, property insurance rates in Florida have skyrocketed.

    As a result of his legislative work in the State House over the last eight years, his net worth has ballooned from $852,000 in 2017 to $14,000,000 in 2023. This occurred because he was hired, shortly after he arrived in the House, as General Counsel of, with an equity interest in, a regional insurance brokerage based in Daytona Beach.

    2. David Shoar, former Sheriff of St. John’s County, has just joined this primary race. He is backed by trial lawyers who oppose Representative Leek’s legislative record protecting insurance companies, but cannot bring themselves to support the conservative principles of Gerry James. The trial lawyers at first did not want to have to support a third candidate, but in the end they had no choice.

    The State of Florida has around 9% of all insurance claims in the United States, but around 79% of all insurance litigation. This is a big pot of gold for trial lawyers. Florida needs litigation reform, similar to Texas. Our RINO state leadership, however, ain’t ready for reform.

    3. Gerry James is running to represent the interests of We The People, against the special interest of the insurance industry and the trial lawyers.

    David Shoar’s Shady Record

    David Shoar served for 16 years as Sheriff of St. John’s County from 2005 to 2021. His personal record includes a drunken driving incident, where he was found to be carrying marijuana, and embezzlement by his finance director of $700,000 from the Sheriff’s Office.

    The biggest controversy of his term as Sheriff, however, is his role investigating the death of 24-year old Michelle O’Connell during 2010 in the St. Augustine home of her boyfriend, Sheriff’s Deputy Jeremy Banks. This homicide was committed with Deputy Banks’ service weapon, so the question is which of the two pulled the trigger? Was it a suicide, as official investigators concluded, or a murder?

    Deputy Banks had a record of abusing Michelle, as reported not only by her four-year old daughter, Alexis, but also by her mother. Alexis provided evidence of this abuse during a forensic interview with child welfare authorities. Michelle’s mother reported that she saw Deputy Banks body-slam Michelle in her house while they were visiting. That was when she decided that he was not good for Michelle. A forensics pathologist found that Michelle’s lower jaw had been broken before she was shot.

    Michelle’s family and friends complained that they were not allowed to tell their side of the story during investigations conducted by the Sheriff’s Office and State Attorneys. Sheriff Shoar dismissed the family and friends as attention seekers. Their efforts to make statements were rebuffed.

    Michelle did not look like a woman ready to commit suicide when she died. She had all her bags packed, and had arranged with a girlfriend to share an apartment. She was a devoted mother to Alexis, and no one who knew her believed that she would have left her daughter without a parent. Michelle had no history of depression, and had just been promoted in the child care center where she worked. She was looking forward to her expanded role at work, and had scheduled to take the CPR classes required for her new position. She had made plans for breakfast with her mother the next morning. Her girlfriend who would have shared her apartment reported that they were planning a girls’ night out.

    The official investigations were closed with a finding that Michelle had committed suicide with Deputy Banks’ service weapon, as reported in 2013 by PBS Frontline and in 2016 by People magazine. David Shoar has spent his time since leaving office in 2020 working as an investigator for a firm of trial lawyers in his district. His successor as Sheriff of St. John’s County, Robbie Hardwick, who had been endorsed by Shoar as his successor, has already endorsed Tom Leek.

    Three-Way Primary Race

    Sarah Palin is focusing on state legislative races, especially supporting conservatives like Gerry James in Republican primary elections. As we have observed before, Florida has a Republican super-majority in the state legislature, but a small conservative minority and RINO leadership. She spoke on this online fundraiser from her base in Alaska.

    Alaska is also a Red state and a Republican state, like Florida. It seems that when states are dominated by a single party, they lend themselves to corruption. This may be because the establishment politicians have little challenge from the opposing party, or in primary elections.

    Accordingly, the competition that is necessary to keep them honest must be applied in primary elections of the dominant party. This is what Gerry is doing by challenging not only a champion of the insurance industry, but also a champion of the trial lawyers.

    Gerry is a true fiscal conservative. He recognizes that a big government is a corrupt government, and that big government and big business together constitute Fascism. During the last three fiscal years, the budget of the State of Florida has ballooned by 33%, seemingly trying to catch up in spending with the State of New York.

    Christie Hutcherson, a Florida patriot, also spoke on this online fundraiser. She warned about the dangers of illegal immigration. This situation constitutes a military invasion of Florida with nefarious intent. She emphasized that now is the time to defend our constitutional republic by helping to elect conservative candidates like Gerry. Brenda Karlin spoke up for a Convention of States pursuant to Article V of the Constitution.

    Florida should require primary elections to be won with a majority of the votes cast, with a runoff if necessary, as is done in Texas. For example, in Miami-Dade County there are some 12 Republican candidates for Sheriff, so that the winner could obtain only 10% of the votes.

    In any event, Gerry is well positioned to connect with at least a plurality of the voters in his district, as they recognize him as the true representative of the people, against not one but two sets of special interests.

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    Eduardo Vidal

    Eduardo Vidal is a lawyer and political activist. His family brought him when he was nine years old from Cuba to the USA, but now the rule of law has been eroded in the USA as well, and we are turning into Cuba and the rest of Latin America.

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