I have received many request for a voter guide for Martin County FL. Sadly, no one took the initiative to create a voter guide. If you’d like to help create a voter guide for Martin County in the future, let me know, and I’ll provide you with the questionnaire, templates, systems, and training to help your efforts. I have received input from two Martin County prolifers however that may prove useful in determining who to vote for. Their views are as follows:
Martin County Local Races
Unfortunately, there is no values group in Martin Co. organized at the level of developing voters guides on local races like there is in Port St Lucie. However, please let me share my perspective on the local Martin Co. races. First there are no local values candidates per se running in Martin Co. I can only share how I voted and why. I shared this with my fellow Martin Co. pro-lifers who will probably take a different position on the Shekailo-Busha race.
County Commission District 2
Candidate Ed Fielding assured me that he would not fund Planned Parenthood programs if he becomes the Commission’s Children’s Services Council (CSC) representative. I do not know incumbent Susan Valliere’s position on PP funding. However, based on well reported issues involving Valliere’s integrity and ethics, I voted for Fielding.
County Commission Dist 4
Incumbent Sarah Heard has an 8 year track record as a fiscal conservative. Although she has a personal pro-choice position Heard has assured me that she would never vote for any type of Planned Parenthood programs if she became a member of the CSC. One opponent, Don Pickard took a strong public position last year against the Martin Co. CSC’s wasteful spending for an unneeded new facility. However, Pickard never took a public position against the CSC funding La Promesa, which was well publicized. I do no know the third candidate, Lee Weberman’ position. However Weberman’s previous 8 years on the Commission were noteworthy for inconsistency on many issues. I know Sarah Heard and she has amply demonstrated herself to be good for her word and that is why I voted for her.
School Board Dist 4
In spite of the documented case made since 2007 that La Promesa was not a source of pre-natal care or even accessing health care by the under served Hispanic community, Maura Barry Sorenson, the incumbent, voted to fund that Planned Parenthood program. The other two candidates are Tina McSorley, a Catholic mother of five and former Teacher of the Year and Gary Sparks, a teacher and former administrator who has policy differences with Superintendent Kline. I voted for McSorley.
School Board Dist 5
Eight Year incumbent Lori Gaylord voted to fund Planned Parenthood’s La Promesa Program while she was a member of the Children’s Services Council. Unfortunately she is opposed by Cam Boynton who by his answers to the Scripps Candidates’ Questionnaire appears unqualified. I therefore cast a blank ballot in that race.
School Board Dist 1
This race has two professed pro-life Catholics opposing each other, eight year incumbent Laurie Shakailo and challenger Mike Busha. In 2008, Nancy Kline was elected School Superintendent and became the first CSC member to publicly oppose funding of Planned Parenthood’s La Promesa Program, even though she knew that leading pro-life leaders did not support her election! From the beginning of Superintendent Kline’s term, Mrs Shekailo has been deliberately obstructive to most of Kline’s program and initiatives. Shekailo took this to the extremes of the ridiculous in 2009 by requiring Superintendent Kline to fill out a public speakers form whenever she wanted to speak at School Board meetings. From 2005-2009 when former Superintendent Sarah Wilcox and her School Board colleague Lori Gaylord funded Planned Parenthood’s La Promesa program as CSC members, Mrs. Shekailo remained silent, showing either a lack of moral courage or being unaware of something she should have known. Nancy Kline has proven by her actions that she is an ally of the pro-life community and Laurie Shekailo has gone out of her way to be obstructive to her administration. I am well aware of Mrs. Shekailo’s May, 2009 letter to the Stuart News in which she took a commendable public stand for Christian principals and for being pro-life. However, this was six months into Mrs. Kline’s term and Shekailo did not take a position specifically opposed to the CSC funding La Promesa. That is why I voted for Mike Busha.
School Board Dist 1 – Another View
I would like to point out that Lorie Shekailo is a board member of the Pregnancy Care Center, and has worked extensively for the pro-life cause, which, in the scheme of things (in my book) cannot be topped by any other cause. She is honest, full of integrity, faith, and is a humble servant of God, her church, and her community. She was a unanimous pick for our Board.
Anne C. Lotierzo