St. Augustine 'Politics in St. Johns' event draws 500

Rutherford, DeSantis, Shoar among winners of event’s straw poll


Congressional candidates John Rutherford (District 4), Ron DeSantis (District 6) and Sheriff David Shoar were among the winners of a straw poll held last week at the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce’s “Politics in St. Johns” event.

Held Aug. 4 at the Solomon Calhoun Center in St. Augustine, the event attracted an estimated 500 people, who had an opportunity to meet with nearly 40 candidates running for office across the county. Nearly 350 votes were cast in the straw poll, which included national as well as local races.

In the race for president, Republican Donald Trump bested Democrat Hillary Clinton 252 to 64, while Sen. Marco Rubio topped the ticket for U.S. Senate with 215 votes in a five-way race. His closest challenger, Carlos Beruff, received 54 votes.

In the race for the 4th Congressional District – the seat currently held by the retiring Rep. Ander Crenshaw – former Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford came in first with 121 votes, followed by County Commissioner Bill McClure with 84 votes and the remaining votes split among their six challengers. In the 6th Congressional District race, incumbent Rep. Ron DeSantis garnered 182 votes in a seven-candidate field.

The St. Augustine “Politics in St. Johns” event followed a previous session held July 27 in Ponte Vedra Beach. The primary election will be held Aug. 30, with early voting beginning Aug. 20.