Candidate Charbonneau Qualifies For Ballot

By  //  May 5, 2014

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County Commission District 4 candidate

ABOVE VIDEO: Richard Charbonneau, Republican candidate for Brevard County Commission District 4, talks about his background, campaign platform and his vision for the future of Brevard County.

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA — On Friday, May 2, Brevard County Commission District 4 candidate Richard Charbonneau qualified by petition to have his name placed on the ballot in the primary election.

Below is a statement from Charbonneau:

“Gathering petitions is a great experience and although some candidates may qualify by simply paying a fee as a candidate you miss out on interacting with the voters. Myself, my wife Kate, volunteers Barbara and Glenn probably knocked on 2,000 to 3,000 doors and handed out flyers at gun shows, fairs, malls, car shows to another couple thousand (we didn’t count). Some of the responses were a surprise and some were not.

Richard Charbonneau
Richard Charbonneau

We asked about the budget, the lagoon, personal privacy issues and those were not topics the voters were generally interested in. Top of the list were: Jobs, good jobs and “no new taxes!”

Only a few mentioned lowering taxes, but many mentioned no new taxes. When quarried about issues like the EDC, CRA’s, TDA’s, few knew what they were or had any interest.

Of issue with the Republican voters was, “are you going act like a conservative once you are elected or are you like others that campaigned as a conservative then became a tax and spend RHINO once in there?”

Another common complaint was lack of access to the incumbent commissioner. I promised that all important calls would be returned by myself or my staff the same day. No promises on the result of those calls, but they would be returned.

There are many issues that are simply out of the purview of the commissioners, like drinking water. Interesting enough we were treated politely by Republicans and Democrats alike, and many Democrats when informed of the process gladly signed the petitions knowing they could not vote in the Republican primary. The No Party Affiliated (NPA) voters were the least friendly, many are NPA because they have become sick of the system, Democrat or Republican, and generally want little to do with politics at all.

One question we constantly heard was in regard to, “Salary for $1.00,” and why would I work for a dollar.

My response was that 100 percent of my salary, minus taxes, will be given to local charities like abused children, abused women, the homeless, homeless vets, fallen police officers families, etc., but this is not a new gimmick, I have already been doing this for several years now. Giving should be a private affair but I’m trying to raise the awareness of the importance of giving to charities by setting an example. I welcome any of my challengers to jump in, several are well-to-do business persons and could easily do the same.

It was a lot of fun and I owe my wife Kate big time for her relentless help. Regardless of what you hear about some silly straw poll where 150 or so Tea Party voters chose a Tea Party candidate at a Tea Party event, the results from that poll are in direct opposition with real polls that have been done.

I’ve actually become friends with two of my opponents and I wish them a good race – just not too good. The important thing though is that everyone get out and vote, and vote for me hopefully, but vote.”

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