Bad night for the Chronicle
Diana Finegan crushed her Chronicle-endorsed liberal opponent Stacey Worthington by a whopping 14 percent margin in the County Commission District 2 Republican primary. Finegan's resounding primary victory came despite the fact that she was significantly outraised and outspent by Worthington, who received heavy financial backing from the liberal Citrus Chamber of Commerce crowd. Finegan, who was ironically attacked by the Chronicle for receiving the Citrus Crusader's endorsement, will face off against independent Paul Grogan in the Nov. 8 general election.
In the three-way Republican primary for County Commission District 4, John Murphy, who is married to the Chronicle's publisher, serves as its sales manager and was shamelessly endorsed by its editorial board, lost to Rebecca Bays. Voters obviously didn't like the idea of giving the fake news operation its own personal representative on the commission. Since no Democrats or third-party candidates filed to run in District 4, Bays' victory is final and she will not have to face voters again in November. Although Bays was not our first choice for District 4, we congratulate her on her win and look forward to her serving Citrus residents well on the commission.
In the school board race, far-left Democrat Deborah Daniels also suffered a crushing defeat, garnering only 25 percent of the vote after getting the Chronicle's endorsement. The top two vote-getters – incumbent Linda Powers and challenger Joe Faherty – will face off in a November runoff since no candidate received a majority of the vote in the officially nonpartisan primary.
Tuesday night's thrashing of Chronicle-endorsed candidates came less than two weeks after the Chronicle was declared a Purveyor of Hate for using the Southern Poverty Law Center, a notorious anti-Christian hate group, to smear conservative organizations it disagrees with. With its reputation in the toilet, the Chronicle's endorsement has clearly become the "kiss of death" for local candidates. In the future, candidates who value their political careers would be wise to repudiate any endorsement from the disgraced hate publication.