GOP's David Baldauff pledges to remain neutral In races involving multiple party members in a given election, partisan or non-partisan, if elected as state committeeman by a majority of his colleagues in upcoming contest

Party Lines Political Notebook / Headline SurferPhotos for Headline Surfer / David Baldauff, candidate for GOP commiteeman of Volusia County, is shown above in downtown DeLand.
 
By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

DELAND, Fla -- David Baldauff has pledged that if elected as GOP state committeeman by the executive committee members of the Republican Party of Volusia County that he would remain neutral in races where more than one candidate from the party is running whether it's partisan or non-partisan.

Baldauff told his Fellow RECVC members on his Facebook page he was "proud to announce" he has "received the endorsements of former Florida Federation of Young Republicans Chairwoman Peret Pass and former Volusia County State Committeewoman Maureen France." 

Baldauff continued, "If elected as your state committeeman, I pledge to be neutral where there is more than one Republican running in a partisan or non partisan race. I also pledge to (serve) all Republicans in Volusia County and work to strongly Unite the RPOF chartered clubs and federated clubs in the county. I ask for your support at our April REC meeting."

Perot/France endorse David Bauldorff / Headline SurferDavid Baldauff​ told his Fellow RECVC members on his Facebook page he was "proud to announce" he has "received the endorsements of former  Florida Federation of Young Republicans Chairwoman Peret Pass (shown above left) and former Volusia County State Committeewoman Maureen France (shown above right)." 

Baldauff​ continued, "If elected as your state committeeman, I pledge to be neutral where there is more than one Republican running in a partisan or non partisan race. I also pledge to (serve) all Republicans in Volusia County and work to strongly Unite the RPOF chartered clubs and federated clubs in the county. I ask for your support at our April REC meeting."

It is at that upcoming meeting on April 9, that the 90-plus committee members will choose either Baldauffor his opponent, Vic Baker, as GOP state committeeman for Volusia County.

The winner will succeed Paul Deering who resigned the post earlier this month after winning the contest of GOP party chairman of Volusia County over WR DallaRosa, by a 61 to 26 vote of the committee members. 

This voting procedure is different in that it is by committee membership within the party only at GOP headquarters in Daytona Beach. Deering was elected to the post in a public vote of registered Republicans from Volusia County in the 2016 primary elections. Deering received 25,125 votes or 69.48 percent to 11,038 votes or 30.52 for James Oddie.

The state committeeman recruits and trains volunteers, oversee early voting sites and serves as a party parliamentarian. Deering resigned from his elected post after then-GOP Chairman Tony Ledbetter died Feb. 13

Baldauff's opponent for state committeeman of Volusia County is Vic Baker. The two are members of the GOP executive committee.

Baldauff's pledge to remain neutral is significant in that Ledbetter had taken the party in a different direction in his seven years at the helm by excluding Republicans from the party's voter guides who weren't designated as the preferred candidate of party elders, even if they were an incumbent. This policy was set in motion by Ledbetter for the 2014, 2016 and 2018 election cycles.

One such example of GOP candidate omission was in 2014, when then-incumbent District 3 School board member Stan Schmidt was excluded from the GOP voter's guide, while George Trovato was included in the non-partisan race.

Schmidt finished third and out of the running with 3,773 votes or 24.14 percent in the primary held on Aug. 24, 2014. Democrat Linda Cuthbert finished first in primary with 7,167 votes or 46.38 percent and Trovato finished second with 4,514 votes or 29.21 percent. The GOP incumbent, Schmidt, was eliminated. Because none of the candidates garnered at least 50 percent plus 1 more vote, the top two vote getters, Cuthbert and Trovato. squared off in the general election.

Scmidt claimed his own party cost him a chance at re-election by leaving his name off the Republican Party voters guide in advance through mailings and at the polls. To make matters worse, Schmidt's wife, MerryBeth Jaeger Schmidt, was suffering from terminal cancer. She died that Oct. 1 at the age of 58. In that Nov. 4 run-off election, Cuthbert, the Democrat, crushed the GOP-endorsed candidate, Trovato, by a near 3-1 margin. Cuthbert received 23,230 votes or 63.31 percent to Trovato's 13,465 votes or 33.69 percent of the total. 

Then-Volusia County Chair Jason Davis twice was excluded from the GOP voter guide in the 2016 election cycle for the non-partisan leadership post on the county council and ultimately was out of office. In the Aug. 30 primary, Davis finished second among four candidates in a contest won by Ed Kelley, forcing a runoff. Kelley, with the added benefit of his name on the voter's guide yet again while Davis' was excluded for the second time, romped in the 2016 general election, with the challenger receiving 129,846 votes or 61.92 percent to 79,854 votes or 38.08 percent for the incumbent.

 

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.