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Some may know but definitely won't say

It seems a tossup as to who will fill a vacant County Commission seat. A decision might come soon.

By ASJYLYN LODER
Published August 17, 2006


The worst-kept secret in Hernando County politics whispers that Tom Hogan Sr. will be the county's interim commissioner.

No.

Wait.

Roy Martin, chairman of the Wellington Republicans, has a decided edge to replace the recently resigned Rob Schenck. Martin lives in the district, and Hogan doesn't.

So it's got to be Martin.

But maybe it's 29-year-old Justin Rooks, who's spent his entire career working for former mining executive Tommy Bronson. Bronson has a lot of pull with the governor, so it's definitely Rooks.

Definitely.

One thing Janey Baldwin knows: It isn't her. A constant at County Commission meetings and three-time loser for a commission seat, Baldwin, 76, said she's sure it will go to Hogan. Or Martin. "It's about connections," she said Tuesday.

Commission Chairwoman Diane Rowden said, "Well, you know, I hear totally different vibes going on out there. One minute I hear it's going to be Tom Hogan, and then the next time I hear it's going to be this young guy who works for Tommy Bronson."

State Rep. Dave Russell said he can't say much about what he knows.

"All you do is tell one politician, and it's going to be blabbed all over the place," Russell said.

Russell said the appointment should come within days. That was the word last week, too. And the week before. And pretty much since Schenck resigned July 20 to focus on his state legislative race.

Russell said the holdup is the background check of the appointee.

Hogan confirmed last week that he has been asked to provide additional information for a background check. But is he the only one?

Hogan didn't know, and Russell said he didn't know, and Ana Trinque, chairwoman of the Republican Executive Committee, isn't saying.

The new commissioner has just six meetings left in the term. But those meetings will decide the budget and tax rate for the year.

So far, the four remaining commissioners have avoided any tie votes.

[Last modified August 17, 2006, 07:37:53]


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