Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Shocker: DeSantis puts politics above competence

  • Sarasota
  • Opinion
  • Share

Here’s a shocker (Not!): Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed inexperienced Manatee County Commissioner James Satcher over the most qualified candidate in Florida to be Manatee County’s supervisor of elections.

Ron DeSantis

In our Feb. 21 Opinion, we chronicled the upcoming March 1 retirement and departure of Manatee Supervisor Mike Bennett. The choice to replace Bennett was, as the saying goes, a “no-brainer,” which is vernacular for: You would have to be a village idiot not to see who the best candidate was and what constituted the right thing to do for Manatee citizens.

It wasn’t even close. The choice:

Satcher: Elected to the Manatee County Commission in 2020. Profession: Minister. Day job: CEO of Satcher Evangelistic Association, a not-for-profit that offers ministry outreach services. IRS records show Satcher’s association paid him $19,315 in 2018 and his last reported salary was $45,024.

Prior to coming to Manatee, Satcher was a pastor at Dream Builders Church in Kennesaw, Georgia. The church address is a single-family home in Kennesaw. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Berry College near Rome, Georgia, and a diploma in pastoral studies from Rhema Bible College in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. 

Farrington: He holds a master’s degree in information systems management from the University of South Florida. He served 11 years as the number two executive (chief operating officer) in the Manatee supervisor of elections office. Prior to that, he served 10 years as the number two executive in the Sarasota County supervisor of elections office. He is a certified election administrator and a master Florida certified election professional. 

At the time, we shared two endorsements about Farrington: 

  • Bennett (obviously biased, but nonetheless): “Scott is very cool under pressure. And he is as cheap as I am about spending taxpayers’ money. He watches every nickel going in and out. The staff loves him and loves his leadership. I just can’t say enough about him.”
  • Manatee Commissioner George Kruse: “Scott Farrington, bar none, is the most qualified elections guy in the state of Florida.”

What’s more, we reminded readers that Gov. DeSantis has always been quick to brag about Florida “running the most secure elections in the country” and that Florida has “the best election integrity measures in America.” 

This decision was so easy. So easy to do the right thing. 

We have nothing against Satcher. Fact: He is not as qualified as Farrington.

And to top off the absurdity of it all, Commissioner Satcher will see his annual government compensation increase from $104,723 to $178,586. That’s an increase of $73,863, or 70%.

In the private sector, employers typically base salaries on experience and give raises based on merit. But in government and politics, little to nothing makes sense. Taxpayers are routinely shafted.

There may be hope: Voters can decide who is more suited for the office. Satcher and Farrington have filed to run for election.



Matt Walsh

Matt Walsh is the CEO and founder of Observer Media Group.

Latest News