Sam Ruth is a fighter. His many years of coaching and playing sports gave him a competitor’s heart. He speaks in a booming voice with a plainspoken manner and an outspoken attitude.
Ruth won the City Commission Seat#3 special election in 2012 and was a City Commissioner for two years before losing to Pastor Doug Bankson nearly one year ago in the 2016 Apopka municipal election.
The loss, however, did nothing to dampen his passion for Apopka. 11 months after losing in a runoff, Ruth took to Facebook to write a scathing post on the state of the local news media, fake news, social media trolls, and the 2018 Apopka Mayoral election.
On Friday evening, Ruth posted this comment on his "Sam Ruth for Apopka" Facebook page:
"I've been asked by many people in the community for my thoughts on the upcoming Apopka's Mayor's race. I have no hesitations about making my thoughts known.
It is disappointing that our local news media outlets continue to report “fake” news just to push their own agenda. The current city administration continues to clean up issues and problems they inherited. And to make things worse our own media here in Apopka would rather report negative untruths as well as out and out lies rather than report the truth. Remember that I have been a first-hand witness to not only the negative things that went on before this current administration but the positive changes that have begun to take place since this administration took office just three short years ago.
I’m here to inform residents to not fall into the same “rut” we were in. Don’t fall for the lies, the behind the door secret meetings that once was normal in our government. Don’t fall for lies that the profiteers, opportunists and social media trolls are handing out. Don’t fall for the community lectures by the very people that help to create the problems that we are fighting to combat today.
Just a short three years ago, the citizens of Apopka chose a new path. Let’s not go back. After a monumental election that "some" would like us to believe divided this city, "some" wish to bring back the wolves in their freshly spun sheep’s clothing.
To ignore the last 18-plus years, where some of the most hateful and despicable people ran this community, would be a betrayal to our future.
To watch Mr. Nelson surround himself with these people is sickening. The current administration has brought substantial, real, change to this community and set a new vision at great expense to their personal lives. I've had trouble myself with that. This makes me question the real reason behind Mr. Nelson’s motives to run. Is he a good man or is he just the newest person to carry the water. I'm not ignorant to the politics here in Apopka. I see many of the same profiteers, who have long plagued Apopka, showing up in the opening days of a long race for Mayor. Just my thoughts!"
The post received 33 comments (the vast majority of them positive), 31 likes and the thread was active for approximately 72 hours. If it is an unconventional beginning to a campaign for elected office, it cannot be seen as ineffective.
The Apopka Voice asked Sam Ruth (inside his Facebook post) to specify which local media outlets he was referring to, but did not receive a response. Earlier in the week, he did answer a question from The Apopka Voice about a possible run for Seat #1 in 2018, and his reply did nothing to take the possibility off the table.
"2018 is a long time and a lot can happen," he said. "I've been asked from people if I'm going to run and my answer is, we will see what the future brings. If it's good for Apopka, it's good for me."