Steve Simon thought it had seen it all in politics. That is, until he opened his mail a few days ago and had a fresh outlook on political action at the grassroots level.
Simon, a former Pasco county commissioner, is an announced candidate for Republican state committeeman from Pasco County in the August 14th primary. He and the incumbent, Bill Bunting, are competing for the right to represent Republicans in Pasco County on the Republican Party of Florida. The mail piece that startled Simon was an invitation to a forum for candidates for the position he seeks as well as an opportunity for the two women vying for Republican state committeewoman, Sandra Graves of Land O’ Lakes and Nancy Britton from Port Richey.
What surprised him is that the invitation came from an ordinary voter who is sponsoring the event at his own expense. Daniel Meahl, a lifelong Republican and a resident of Beacon Woods in west Pasco, has reserved that community’s auditorium for August 1st at 7:30 p.m. Due to community rules, he must conduct the event on an invitation-only basis but says that is no hindrance as he has over 100 invitations ready to go.
“It should be a lively and informative evening”, Meahl said. Meahl is also a candidate for precinct committeeman and has invited all candidates on that precinct slate to also attend although the speakers will be limited to the four countywide candidates.
Simon said, “I met Dan Meahl recently at a Republican gathering and he mentioned this idea to me.”
"I told it that it was a refreshing idea”, Simon continued, “but I seriously doubted that it would come to fruition. Shame on me for dismissing this active voter’s zeal.” Simon indicated that he has already responded with his acceptance and urges the other candidates to respond affirmatively to this gracious invitation. Meahl indicates that he has wondered for years why there has never been an open forum to enable fellow Republicans to assess their elected leadership at the grassroots level. Realizing that few Republican voters in Pasco County have the slightest understanding of their party’s actions and leadership, he decided to sponsor this event to encourage members of the GOP to take a serious look in this major election year.