Two Apopka City Commissioners announced their endorsements today on social media or by emailing their endorsements to The Apopka Voice. Commissioner Doug Bankson endorsed gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis and senatorial candidate Rick Scott, while Commissioner Alexander H. Smith endorsed gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum and is in support of Amendment 4. Here are their statements:

Election Day thoughts and endorsements

By Apopka City Commissioner Doug Bankson

As this new day dawns, we find ourselves once again facing what promises to be a historic election. With the advent of early voting, already across the nation, we have reached record levels for a midterm election cycle, and it promises to be such a trend for Election Day numbers as well. Call me old school, but I am one of those who like to wait until Election Day, even if it means standing in long lines. Perhaps a bit nostalgic, but for me, it is a kind of a sacred thing, as voting is to me is a sacred right. Nowhere in all the world is there such a nation with such foundational freedoms, and I hold these things dear.

Rep. Ron DeSantis

Being at present in an office of public service, I have felt that on the more local level I do not want to unduly use my influence in endorsements, as the power vested in me belongs to the people at large. For offices however that are on a state and national level, I feel the distance insulates my voice enough as to be personal, and my rights as an individual citizen equal that of others. So before I give my personal endorsements for higher offices, please permit me to state my reasoning.

I feel we are at a philosophical crossroads as a nation, and an insidious danger has gained a subtle foothold that to me threatens our basic freedoms. Though well-intentioned as it would seem in the minds of some, the failed model and notion of socialism is a deep threat to the very reasons we are the most admired and desired nation to live in. The thousands that seek to enter our shores speak volumes, and to many immigrants who have fled other nations in preference to this American dream, socialism is the very thing they are fleeing. Socialism is a departure from the very purpose of safeguarding power of, by, and for the people.

Apopka City Commissioner Doug Bankson 

Socialism may be couched in apparently noble goals, but the end not only does not justify the means; it is an elusive end that promises a nirvana of sorts but is left wanting by stagnating growth and personal liberty. The socialization of everything from industry to healthcare is rife with promises but falls far short of delivering. It defies the very notions that provide an equal opportunity by promising an equal outcome. Nothing could be further from the truth! Creating a false welfare state amounts in the end to governmental slavery, as each waits for their portion dolled out by the government.

What promises to be the American dream, turns into a nightmare, as both ingenuity and industry suffer from lack of incentive to succeed. Redistribution kills the very job-creating mechanism that makes the American dream possible for all! It is stealing the cow that gives the milk by promising everyone a steak dinner. In the end, there is neither milk nor steak. Everyone is only equal in an impoverished existence while the state itself grows larger. When I hear politicians promise what appears a steak dinner to all, but their means are to overtax the very businesses that create jobs for these people, it makes me cringe. Artificial wage hikes will stagnate as jobs disappear, and the poorest suffer most in the long run.

Florida Governor Rick Scott

The free enterprise system known as capitalism is the mechanism through which our nation has arisen in such a short time in history to such astounding heights. It is this philosophy that has built this one nation under God, comprised of free states filled with free men, into the envy of the world. It provides the system through which any man has the ability if he has the willingness to work to arise to unlimited heights. It alone has the unique ability to afford everyone the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

True dangers are found in governmental usurpation, such as federalism, socialism, and judicial overreach, which all seek in their own way to override the will of the people and subvert the rule of law that protects us from ourselves. This form of government is only able to be sustained by a moral people who seek not to use it for unjust means, but to guard it for generations to come.

Historically even Plato himself admired the philosophy and structure given to Moses on the mount, as did our founders, and we are obligated to elect leaders who fulfill the basic standards of leadership espoused in Exodus 18:21, “Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness…” These four qualities are for me a must to earn my vote: capable; God-fearing; truth loving; covetous hating. As John Adams famously stated, “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Both our citizenry and leadership must be given to these principles that produced and provided inalienable rights to all, and to a rule of law that protects these things in perpetuity.

It is for these reasons that I as a citizen of the state of Florida, and of these United States endorse Ron Desantis for governor and Rick Scott for United States Senate. I believe they will be the best citizens to guard our freedoms, and by character and practice have demonstrated that they will further our opportunities to remain a state and nation of prosperity and opportunity for ourselves and our posterity.

May our rights to vote remain sacred, our reasons clear, and our future bright; may we respect one another in the public discourse; and may God continue to bless America!

Why I voted for and support Mayor Andrew Gillum for Governor

By Apopka City Commissioner Alexander H. Smith

We must start by admitting that there is no such thing as a perfect candidate. So I start by doing my homework on each candidate. I then take my findings and base my decision on how their views line up with mine. After being in the classroom for 40 years education is at the top of my list.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum
We need more funding for education to include teacher salaries, classroom materials, and facilities. We lose well-qualified teachers to other states because of a lack of funding in our state. Teacher salaries are a contributing factor why there are so few males in education. Imagine your child not having a male teacher until their senior year in high school or if they have one at all.
Secondly, health care is a major concern. I’m a product of being raised without health care because my parents couldn’t afford it. Our population is getting older and many have to make a choice to buy food, pay mortgage/rent or healthcare (!) not to mention whether they can afford adequate life insurance or not.

Career and technical education need to be a priority as well. Everyone will not attend a four-year university but should be afforded the opportunity for some post-secondary education.

Apopka City Commissioner Alexander H. Smith
Then there is affordable housing. A young couple just starting a family or a college graduate or a graduate from a career and technical college should have the ability to become a homeowner.
Lastly, I support first-time offenders having their rights automatically restored after they have completed their sentences, paid their fines and completed their probation. They deserve a second chance: God gave me more than a second chance!
These are the contributing factors and are the reasons why I support Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum for Florida Governor.


  1. I did like Alexander Smith and voted for him. Now……not so much. I think local candidates and officeholders need to stay silent on State and Federal candidates, even Doug Bankson with whom I agree and for whom I also voted.


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