According to Chamber President David Colby, the change was due to the coronavirus pandemic and CDC social distancing guidelines since typically, the in-person style event people are used to, would have attracted between 500-600 people or more.
Still, David Colby said Monday’s turnout was great with more than 100 voters from across Lake County who cast ballots for their pick of candidates running for various local, county and state races.
And during the virtual event, which, in its entirety ran from 5pm to 7:30pm, people were even able to meet and hear from the candidates in attendance by way of virtual candidate booths where they answered one-on-one questions and during a panel discussion on Zoom that took place between 6pm-7pm and that involved 17 of the 24 candidates vying for a post.
Historically, the results of the straw poll are believed to serve as a sneak peek at what the upcoming election results may end up looking like.
“It’s an opportunity to just see what the general feeling is out there. And it gives candidates a feeling of where they might stand within the community,” David Colby says.
He also said he was happy to have the 17 candidates that did participate in the panel discussion there for the voters and satisfied with the feedback he received from them.
“Events like this are a good opportunity for candidates because it gives them a venue where they can connect with people and talk with them one-on-one and for the voters, they are able to hear directly from the candidates, listen to their platform and learn what they are all about,” says David Colby. “Our feedback was that it was a really good use of time for everybody.”
He said the panel discussion and results will be available for viewing on YouTube for anyone who was unable to attend but interested in hearing what the candidates had to say.
The following is a list of the winners (in ballot order) that emerged from the Chamber’s 2020 Hob Nob straw poll:
- Representative in Congress District 15 – Ross Spano, R, 56.25%
- State Representative District 31 – Stevan Novakovic, R, 53.1250 %
- Board of County Commissioners District 1 – Douglas B. Shields, R, 55.2083%
- Board of County Commissioners District 3 – Wendy Breeden, R, 64.5833%
- Board of County Commissioners District 5 – Todd Luce, R, 63.52%
- Lake County Water Authority District 1 – Daniel Lynch, R, 55.2083%
- Lake County Water Authority District 3 – Tyler David Brandeburg, R, 59.375%
- North Lake Hospital NE Seat 1 – Susan E. Hopper, R, 66.666%
- State Committeewoman – Cheryl Arellano, R, 61.4583%
- Precinct Committeeman, Precinct 10 – John Mayfield, R, 82.2917%
- Representative in Congress District 6 – Clint Curtis, D, 64.5833%
- Representative in Congress District 15 – Adam Hattersley, D, 44.7917%
- State Representative District 31 – Debra A. Kaplan, D, 53.1250%
- State Representative District 32 – Ryan Morales, D, 50.0000%
- North Lake Hospital NW Seat 5 – Melody Duckins, D, 78.1250%
- Precinct Committeeman Precinct 20 – James R. Picard, D, 56.2500%
- Precinct Committeeman Precinct 65 – Phillip Eugene Anderberg, D, 57.2917%
- Precinct Committeewoman Precinct 96 – Allison Janice Birnie-Firth, D, 55.2083%
- Circuit Judge, 5th Judicial Circuit Group 22 – George Angeliadis, NON, 69.7917%
- School Board Member District 2 – Kristi Burns, NON, 55.2083%
- School Board Member District 4 – Sandy Gamble, NON, 33.3333%
- Clermont City Council Seat 3 – Stephen A. Franklin, NON, 35.4167%
- Groveland Council Member District 3 – Ana Luiza Afshin, NON, 45.8333%
- Howey-in-the-Hills Recall Election – Matthew McGill, NON, NOT REMOVED, 56.2500%