Tampa Bay Times Neglects to Conduct a Proper Recommendation Process for Agriculture Commissioner

By Jayden Adjodha July 26, 2022

Endorsements are a critical part of any campaign. They serve as a way for candidates to get their name out, and connect themselves to familiar figures for voters. Such an important process is designed to and must be both fair and transparent. Sadly, the recent announcement of the Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board did not follow this course. To my disappointment, and the disappointment of every hard working individual on my campaign, the Tampa Bay Times endorsed fellow candidate Naomi Blemur, in what we strongly believe was a failure of the Times to follow their own rules and regulations.

The Tampa Bay Times intentionally refused to follow their own rules in the endorsement process for one of two reasons. They either lost or forgot our email application for the endorsement or because of their close relationship with democratic consultants they intentionally ceased communication with the Gaillot campaign in favor of Blemur. The materials required for at minimum the consideration of my campaign for recommendation were all submitted in a timely and quality manner. I have already demanded a retraction of their recommendation until all parties are able to go through the full interview process in a recent press release. My team and I are committed to transparency and we will be releasing all correspondence with Graham Brink, editor of editorials, and John Hill, Editorial Writer, to demonstrate our fulfilled requirements for recommendation consideration, and their lack of response.

It is still beyond a shame to have lost an opportunity to be endorsed by such a reputable,and trusted organization. We hope to continue to demonstrate our commitment to bettering Florida and the Tampa Bay Area as well as our fight to protect the people of our state. Floridians deserve to know about their options for representation, beyond someone who’s husband scammed the haitian community out of 1.6 million dollars. Part of the requirement for the recommendation is a financial background check on the candidate. It is quite ironic to me that the candidate with the most public history of fraud and poor financial practices still received this recommendation. The Tampa Bay Times solution to alleviate this clear issue is to paint this fraud in a positive light and claim she is a supporter of prison reform despite not having a single policy stance or proposal on her website. There are many inconsistencies in the statements made about receiving our application and even more inconsistencies regarding the values they stand for and the candidate they chose to recommend.

With the democratic primary less than a month away, every day closer to August 23rd is another reminder to continue to put in the hard work and dedication needed to win this race. There is a lot on the line for each of the three candidates, but even more on the line for Floridians. Failures from the Tampa Bay Times like these must be addressed. Candidates deserve equal opportunity. Floridians deserve the truth.

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