Sunday, August 3, 2008

GOP Continues Shift to Geller

Clergy Endorse Geller for Commissioner

PINE HILLS - The Conservative Ministers of Central Florida, a coalition of more than two dozen clergy chaired by Pastor Jerry Creel, have endorsed Rick Geller for District 1 County Commissioner.

The Geller Campaign said the Ministers' endorsement is additional evidence that the GOP base, once thought solidly behind one of Geller's opponents, is shifting to Geller. In addition, Geller decisively won the straw poll of GOP activists of all ages who attended the Orange County Young Republicans HobNob on July 31, garnering a 43 percent plurality of the votes cast in a three-way race between the three Republicans running for the District 1 seat.

A majority of the District 1 constituency is Republican; however, the race is non-partisan. The Orange County Charter prohibits anyone from running for County Commissioner on a party ticket.

"I'm deeply honored by the Ministers' endorsement," said Geller.

"After my interview," Geller said, "I was told my nine years of experience working with zoning issues to protect neighborhoods set me apart as a candidate."

"Churches often have itinerant preachers visit for a few days. They'll stay in recreational vehicles on the church's property. After forty years of this occurring without any ill effect, County Code Enforcement cited a church, causing great concern among the Ministers.

"There's an obscure sentence buried in the ordinance that won't even allow a zoning exception for an RV. If the RV is parked where it won't bother the neighbors, and it's only periodic, then we need to look at making the Code more reasonable," said Geller.

Reverend Peter Petrovich, of Tabernacle Baptist Church, said, "A candidate running for the County Commission should demonstrate a willingness and readiness to address their constituents' needs. Rick Geller has demonstrated that to me personally in working on our zoning issue, and I am certain he will continue this same determination in the days ahead."

"We of the Conservative Ministers Forum know that Rick is demonstrating an understanding of our County's concerns. He is showing an ability to wisely direct his efforts to achieve the best results for all concerned."

"We wish him 'God's Speed' in this effort," Petrovich added.

During his interview, Geller also discussed how he raised $75,000 towards construction of a food pantry to assist families in short-term, urgent need. "One of our shared Judeo-Christian values is caring for the less fortunate," said Geller. "Jews and Christians are being drawn together like never before."

"Rick has spent almost a decade serving our community," said Dorothy Blood of Bay Hill. "The Ministers' endorsement of Rick is well-deserved and I am so happy he got it."