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Martin County Democrats

Martin County Democrats

Fullman Files as Democrat for Doug Smith's Seat on the Martin County Commission

By Jim Turner (Contact)
Originally published 11:36 a.m., June 17, 2008
Updated 02:02 p.m., June 17, 2008

STUART — Tom Fullman, founder of the Jensen Beach Group and chairman of Martin County Consensus, has filed as a Democrat to challenge for Doug Smith’s seat on the Martin County Commission.

Fullman, 59, and a 22 year resident of the county, is the first Democrat to file for the District 1 seat.

While two Republicans are also challenging Smith, Fullman’s target is the two-term incumbent.

“I just don’t think (Smith’s) representing all the people, I believe I’ve had enough interaction with Mr. Smith to know he favors certain interests and I believe I am a person who will focus on what the people will say they want,” Fullman said. “It’s time for a change in philosophy from the economics of building inventory, which has been going on for quite a while, to change to focus on what the people want, slow responsible growth.”

Smith wasn’t surprised with Fullman’s announcement. Two Democrats had been said to be considering a run. But Smith disagreed with Fullman’s assessment of the commission majority on growth matters.

“If a candidate truly supports economic development and small business in our community then one would clearly understand how badly our community is hurting at this point in time,” Smith said.

“For us to have a sustainable viable community, we do need to work on ways to help our small business, allow them to be able to grow, not be in their way, not slow things down, not throw up the comment of what’s the rush, what’s the hurry,” he added. “When people’s livelihood’s are at stake, when people’s family’s existence is at stake, time is of the essence.”

The Consensus was created in 2007 to band together slow-growth groups to promote “responsible, non-sprawl growth.”

The Jensen Beach Group came together in 2006 in opposition to the redevelopment of the 17-acre Pitchford R.V. Park.

“I’m pro-business, but I certainly am interested in asking the green questions, in terms of business, but also what’s good for our quality of life as well,” Fullman said.

Fullman said he would resign as chairman of the Consensus before he pays the $3,414.60 qualifying fee. Candidates have until noon Friday to qualify.

The Republican primary was closed to only Republican voters on Monday when Sewall’s Point resident Don Gliechman, a write-in candidate, filed for the seat.

Also Monday, Former Sewall’s Point Town Commissioner Richard Baron suspended his campaign for the District 1 seat and endorsed Republican Henry Copeland, a lawyer and financial advisor, for the seat.

Jensen Beach resident D. Bryan McDermott has also announced plans to run for the seat as a Republican.

Staff writer George Andreassi contributed to this report.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. Martin County Democratic Executive Committee has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is Martin County Democratic Executive Committee endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)