For all of the bizarro grave-dancing that did and didn’t occur when 96-year-old Earl K. Wood passed away early Monday – thereby becoming unlikely to fulfill his duties as Orange County Tax Collector should he have won in November – there was an equal amount of shock and awe concerning what the Democrats would do here in the thick of the last three weeks of a contentious election season. Well, that was all solved tonight at a closed meeting of the Orange County Democratic Executive Committee when the group’s leadership chose the obvious successor, its chairman Scott Randolph, to ride out the run, with all votes cast for Wood (both on absentee ballots and in forthcoming early/non-early voting) now counting for Randolph. We heard rumors of others who were lining up for the big guy’s position (including former city commissioner Phil Diamond and county commissioner Tiffany Moore-Russell), but Randolph’s ascent probably makes the most sense. If anyone can mobilize the base at this juncture, it’s safe to say it’s the guy who has titular control of the base, after all. The press release is below. The Sentinel beat us to it here. We’ll follow up with more in next week’s issue! EVERYTHING IS CHANGING SO FAST! Hold on.
- Randolph will replace Wood in Orange tax-collector race
- Newcomer Christopher Pennington takes on Andy Gardiner in state Senate race