4 more in the hunt for Indian River County elections chief post

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – Four more people have applied to be named the replacement Supervisor of Elections.

The newest additions including a County Commission candidate, a Vero Beach City Council candidate, a tax assessor in the Property Appraiser’s Office, and a businessman.

The field of candidates vying to replace out-going Supervisor of Elections Kay Clem now stands at 10.

The latest to join the race include Steven Deardeuff, Richard Kennedy, Dominique Scott, and Thomas Lureau.

Deardeuff mounted a failed campaign for Indian River County Commission, while Kennedy tried, also unsuccessfully, for a seat on the Vero Beach City Council dais.

Scott currently works as a homestead exemption specialist for the Indian River County Property Appraiser’s Office.

Lureau owns the Arby’s restaurant on US 1 in Vero Beach and assisted in a petition drive regarding the City of Vero Beach’s electric utility rates.

Clem will retire as of Dec. 31.

Gov. Charlie Crist has until then to name a replacement to fill the remaining two years of Clem’s term or allow Gov.-Elect Rick Scott make the selection when he takes office in January.

Crist’s office has said the governor’s preference is to make a selection from amongst a field of eight to 10 applicants.

The others who are seeking the governor’s nomination include Assistant Supervisor of Elections Leslie Swan; Supervisor of Elections 2008 candidate Cathy Hart; Sandi Harpring, Legislative Assistant to Rep. Debbie Mayfield; former School Board member Charles Searcy; former County Commissioner Fran Adams; and Vero Beach City Councilman Brian Heady.

Gov. Crist’s office will continue to accept applications until a selection is made.

Kennedy wrote in his application that if he were to be appointed, he would not seek election in 2012.

It is not a requirement for candidates to make such a statement on their applications.

He also pointed to his experience serving on Vero Beach’s Planning Commission and the Foundation Board of the Indian River Medical Center.

Deardeuff, in his application for nomination, wrote that he has experience in interpreting legal mandates from federal and state levels and that he has a Masters degree in Public Administration.

In his application, Lureau cites 30 years of management experience, handling people, budgets and overseeing projects. He has also worked in 11 countries as his job required.

“We do not need another political person to be put in a position that is self serving to a party or not knowledgeable of good business practices,” he writes in a letter to Gov. Crist, beyond the application. “We do not need another friend of a friend to be assigned to this important position. We need a person that can make this a functional office for all the people of the county.”

Scott’s letter to Gov. Crist appeals to his Independent affiliation and asks that he take the decision “out of the hands of the local political power brokers.”

“You may make history by personally choosing a replacement as opposed to allowing the local party to fill it with one of their cronies,” she writes. “I would welcome the chance to help you change the political landscape of our little community.”

Neither Deardeuff nor Kennedy sent separate letters to the Governor’s Office.

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