Who’s the best candidate?

A friend invited me to Kings Point Republican Club in Delray’s Meeting last night where they hosted the Republican Candidates for Sheriff Q &A Debate.

It started off with a friendly gesture by Gauger to allow Diaz to go first.

Republican Candidate for Sheriff, Lauro Diaz addresses the King’s Point Republican Club

Diaz started off stating his motto, “Citizens Before Politics.” He went on to say that the Sheriff’s budget should be out in the open. He wants to order an audit of what has been spent to date. He believes money has been mismanaged under the current sheriff of Palm Beach County. Next He wants to advocate for victim’s of domestic abuse. The former Captain has witness too many repeat calls where mostly, but not all women are trapped in their situations. They don’t know their rights, how to seek refuge, and become independent of their abusers financial provisions.

Mr. Diaz Proceeded to his next area of concern, how the homeless are treated. He cares to find out WHY are they homeless before jumping to judgments and putting them behind bars. Again in his experience he found that too many of them are military veterans, sufferers of PTSD and other mental illnesses. The fourth commitment he made is to get a better partnership with PBSO and PBCSD police. He wants the corresponding neighborhood officer very familiar with the school layout. Lastly, Lauro Diaz shared that he would assess all these special units that Sheriff Bradshaw set up. If the units are not producing results then the individuals working there will be placed back out to patrol the streets.

Next the other Republican candidate for PBSO Sheriff, Michael Gauger, took to walking the aisle. He boasted of all his previous awards and accomplishments during his 50 years of law enforcement and community involvement. Michael flaunted that he had his masters in social work. He set up citizen’s patrol and other volunteer agencies that once numbered 4,000 but is now down to ~700. Gauger then tagged onto some of what Diaz said. He exposed that Sheriff Bradshaw set up an opulent office on PGA Blvd that houses 11 people and is costing tax payers $46,000 a month. That Bradshaw has increased salaries in some instances $30,000 more. He has purchased GMC Denali’s. Overall Sheriff Bradshaw has run debt in excess of 1,000,000. The last point that Gauger made was that Bradshaw did away with evaluations. Supervisors are too busy trying to be the buddy of deputies. He promised to bring back accountability, but he didn’t say how.

Next Peter Cavanagh, President of King’s Point Republican Club, walked a microphone around the room for attendees to ask questions.

Laura Diaz on left and Michael Gauger on right take turns answering questions from the audience.

I had a tough time keeping up taking notes on who said what, but I did notice that it seemed that I began to hear similar responses from each of the candidate that would assuage the inquisitor’s concern. So it caught me off guard towards the end when they were asked if they would support one another during the election against Bradshaw. Diaz seemed more open to the proposition, but emphasized that differences would have to be worked out. Gauger said the same. He also was burned in a deal years ago by someone who convinced him of similar deal so I sensed great hesitation which will hurt the Republican ticket when the time comes to defeat Bradshaw.

Albeit many of the responses sounded similar, I was endeared to hear that Diaz has suffered himself a few life threatening situations where his backup froze and couldn’t respond to prevent him from getting beat any further. This is service to appreciate. Thank you former Captain Diaz for putting your life on the line. I also appreciate that you don’t sugar coat situations and are upfront about the current weaknesses that exist in the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. I hope that this doesn’t come back to hurt your efforts as unfortunately some would rather burry their heads in the sand and want to just hear that everything is going fine.

Here is the web sites for both candidates in the debate in alphabetical order. Thank you to Peter Cavanagh and the Kings Point Republican Club for hosting this last night. I hope this helps you to make an informed vote in the Palm Beach County Primary on Tuesday, March 19, 20204.




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