CHARLES PARKER: Local Candidates Get Jump On 2016

By  //  April 7, 2015

Charles Parker writes a weekly perspective column, Out On the Wire…Without a Net, on Space Coast Daily which appears every Tuesday.

Local School Board Candidates Raising Money, Formulating Their Messages For 2016

Do you like a resume candidate, an issues candidate, or a hybrid of the two? I have decided that – for local candidates – I am an issues candidate kind of guy.

opinion-1802In Brevard County, it seems that anyone can attain a good resume and most who run for public office have one (or at least should have one).

Let’s face it – we can all get appointed to boards and boards of directors. We can all volunteer to raise money for causes. We can all attend glitzy fundraisers or pick up trash or run/walk in 5K’s or do any of the other hundreds of things that happen in our little corner of the world every weekend.

President Ronald Reagan
President Ronald Reagan

I want to know whether you have thought through the issues and whether you know where you stand and why. And I want you to relate your beliefs with experiences that you can share with me.

I have been a candidate and have advised candidates in the past. And when I do, I always go back to Ronald Reagan as the epitome of one who had a laser beam approach to campaign issues and his focus on them.

Reagan chose as his three major campaign themes – capitalism/free enterprise, a strong national defense and conservative social issues – particularly a pro-life stance.

He harped on these themes over and over again. No matter who he was speaking to or what he was speaking about, it always came back to these three issues. Hypothetically, one could ask Reagan about whether he preferred pulled pork over brisket – and somehow he would turn it into a relatable story about one of the three legs of his ideological stool.

Darcey Addo
Darcey Addo

Why am I speaking of this in the first quarter of 2015? I mean, come on, the next elections aren’t until at least the summer of 2016 – maybe even the fall.

Well, there are already candidates raising money and formulating their messages.

Take for instance – District 4 of the Brevard School Board. In the last couple of months, four candidates have announced intentions to run: Darcey Addo, Richard Charbonneau, Tina Descovich and Larry Finch.

Richard Charbonneau
Richard Charbonneau

Addo and Descovich are already raising and spending money.

I have interviewed two of these candidates on the radio (Charbonneau and Descovich), interacted with one on social media (Addo), and I do not know the other (Finch).

 Tina Descovich
Tina Descovich

Without too much critique this early in the game, Addo is already making her mark as an issues candidate. She has a good-looking website with a specific tab called “Platform.”

Under this heading, she outlines four specific areas that she wants to effect change in a fairly detailed way.

Descovich also has a website and has three issues that she is aligning with. These are not as fleshed-out as Addo, but are a bit similar in nature.

Neither Charbonneau nor Finch have declared any campaign income or expenditures – so do not have active websites. Charbonneau unsuccessfully ran for County Commission last go-round. I googled Finch and there is a local teacher by the same name, but I’m not sure if it’s him.

(I didn’t do any more research on these candidates as I wanted to act like a voter just trying to find basic information.)

As time moves on, there’ll be plenty of analysis in this column about all the candidates in all the races. Suffice to say for now, getting an early jump on the issues that matter, earn you some brownie points with me.


Charles Parker writes a weekly perspective/opinion column, Out on the Wire…Without a Net, on Space Coast Daily which appears every Tuesday. 

He is a longtime resident of Brevard County and has been writing for various publications for the last 40 years – both print and digital. Parker covers space, politics, religion, and other news and special events for Space Coast Daily.

Charles Parker
Charles Parker

Currently, Parker is an aerospace engineering teacher at Merritt Island High School. He is also the director of both the da Vinci Academy of Aerospace Technology and the Academy of Hospitality, Entrepreneurship, and Tourism at MIHS. He is a professor of Humanities and World Religions at Eastern Florida State College and Valencia College.

Parker has worked extensively in the tourism and aerospace industries in Brevard. He has also been a United Methodist pastor and director of a non-profit to help young adults aging out of foster care. He was formerly a board member at Brevard Achievement Center and the Childcare Association of Brevard. He was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to the Children’s Services Council from 1999-2003.

Parker earned a BA in Organizational Management from Warner University and a Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary. He is married, has four children and one grandchild.

You can reach him at or follow him on Twitter @cpbrevard_scd

AUTHOR NOTE: These views are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Brevard Public Schools, Eastern Florida State College or Valencia College.