The Labor Farm Team program succeeded in a couple of local races despite the anti-union sentiment that affected so many outcomes this Election year. While most of our local Farm Team candidates were in non-partisan races, those races were not viewed as such by voters. Voters succumbed to attacks perpetrated by the pro-voucher, pro-privatization PACS and Super PACS that brought down so many of our friends and allies in House races as well.
While we did not prevail in all, we were victorious in two. Linda Cuthbert was elected to the Volusia County School Board District 3 and Scott Stiltner was elected to the City of Port Orange Council District 4.
Congratulations to Linda and Scott, but more so, congratulations to each member of the Farm Team, whether you won or lost, you have everything to be proud of.
Linda Cuthbert Volusia County School Board candidate
JB Holmes Collier County School Board candidate
Dan Oliver Hernando County Commission candidate
Don Sarro Volusia County School Board candidate
Scott Stiltner City of Port Orange Council candidate
Paul Thomas City of Bradenton Council candidate
These six union member candidates did what so many of us would never be brave enough to do – they put themselves out there and ran for office. They undertook this herculean task so that they could make a difference in the daily lives of their friends, family, and Union Sisters and Brothers in communities throughout this state. With the backing of their local CLCs and Chapters, they fought the good fight.
I am honored to have had the opportunity to get to know and work with each of them through this election cycle. I am optimistic that as they go back to their daily lives, jobs and family that their leadership will continue to serve to make the lives of working families better. And, I am convinced that they will continue to inspire us with their courage and determination no matter where their journey takes them.
I am proud to call you Brothers, Sisters and Friends.
Phyllis Garrett is the Legislative and Political Coordinator for the Florida AFL-CIO.