Friday, September 08, 2006


A couple of interesting bits from Polk County's District 2 County Commission race Thursday:

Republican incumbant Randy Wilkinson, who was arrested for suspicion of DUI early Sunday morning, is now free and clear. He was pulled over after leaving a drugstore near downtown Lakeland when he was noticed weaving along the road and crossing the yellow line while turning onto a side street. Wilkinson failed a field sobrierity test, although a Breathalyzer test taken on the scene registered 0.000.

The commissioner said he was tired after a long night of putting up campaign signs in the area, and volunteered a urine sample to officers after he was taken into custody. He also had a second test taken at Bartow Regional Medical Center after his release early Sunday afternoon. Both tests registered no alcohol or drugs in Wilkinson's system, and the State Attorney's office said Thursday that no charges will be filed.

That's the good news.

The bad news for the two-term incumbant: His GOP primary opponent, former avaition business owner Betty Hill, announced Thursday that they would support Wilkinson's general election challenger, Democrat Robert Connors. A Lake Wales businessman, Connors served one term on the BOCC from 1990 to 1994 before being defeated by...Randy Wilkinson.

Also announcing their backing of Connors were two of Hill's key promoters during the primary, developer Gene Engle and pipefitting business owner Sam Killebrew.

Hill, who received just over 47 percent of the vote in Tuesday's primary, told the Lakeland Ledger:

"I think Robert can get more support and more respect from other commissioners and other people...He can build coalitions. I think he's a little stronger in that respect. Randy is not as strong in building those relationships."

She's right. Robert Connors is a great fellow and did a fine job on the County Commission. He is not entrenched in ideology and listens to all points of view. I am certain that Robert, who I consider a friend, will make an excellent Commissioner once again.


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