Thursday, April 20, 2006


Polk County Commissioner Paul Senft announced Wednesday that he would not seek reelection for his District 4 seat on what is now an all-Republican board.

According to the Lakeland Ledger, Senft said he wanted to spend more time enjoying retirement with his family and that he no longer had the passion for political campaigning.

While Senft is generally considered the more moderate voice on the five member commission, he was one of four commissioners targeted for defeat after voting last August to approve the largest property tax increase in county history to support services and infastructure in the face of Polk's continuing growth. That was a major issue at Monday's Tiger Bay Club forum in Bartow, where Senft and the three other candidates for his seat answered questions.

"The rhetoric there convinced me about something my wife and I have been praying about during the Easter weekend," he said in a statement he released accompanying his announcement.

He said he dreaded a campaign filled with "voodoo economics and misrepresentations of financial information."

Mr. Senft will still be heavily involved in politics. He is Florida's national committeeman on the Republican National Committee.

The decision leaves two GOP challengers in the race, and one Democrat.


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