By James Bruner, Fernandina, 11-12-22
Today Staci McMonagle gave a full-throated endorsement of Darron Ayscue, one of her former opponents in the race for City Commission. Like the runoff being watched nationally in Georgia, we too have a runoff election in Fernandina on December 13th. Because no one, except for Bradley Bean in the Mayor’s race, received over 50% of the vote for the two City Commission seats, the top vote-getters vie yet again in 30 days.
On December 13th, all city voters will be asked to choose between Darron Ayscue, the firefighter, or Geenece Minshew, the President of Fernandina [LGBTQIA2S*] Pride. *Note: The common initials used within the special interest group that Ms. Minshew leads, based on a simple web search stand for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, and Two Spirit.
McMonagle, when asked why she was endorsing Ayscue instead of Minshew, said, “Based on my discussions with Darron and hearing him on the campaign trail, I am confident he supports faith, family and freedom in Fernandina. He feels strongly about the Judeo-Christian values of our community and does not want our city leadership to take a hard left turn.”
A recent survey put to the candidates by the nonpartisan Nassau County nonprofit organization known as County Citizens Defending Freedom asked these candidates about several social issues surely to come before the Commission (like boys identifying as girls to play on the city rec. teams or using girls’ bathrooms), only Ms. Minshew and Mr. Lednovich declined to answer.
Darron Ayscue indicated he was grateful to receive the endorsement. “I am extremely honored to have Staci’s support. She has stated many times that she has prayed for our campaigns and continues to pray over mine. Staci has stuck to her campaign promise to run on Faith, Family, Freedom and Fernandina.” Mr. Ayscue added, “I’m happy to carry her values into the runoff election.”
When asked of what she learned on the campaign trail, Staci said, “I sat on a lot of porches while campaigning and talked about many issues, but it boiled down to a few common themes. Residents here want Fernandina to remain the same way where they know their neighbor and are able to enjoy the heart of a small town. They want to stop the over-development. They voiced exasperation with the Commission in that they don’t feel they are being heard.” She went on to explain that too much reliance is placed on the City Manager and that commissioners seem happy to rubber stamp matters put in front of them by the Manager.
When asked whether she felt the election of Bradley Bean as the new Mayor would help the city, Staci said, “I love Bradley Bean! He has the heart of the people in mind. As Mayor I know he will use his vote and agenda-leadership wisely.”
When asked what caused her to run, Staci immediately responded, “God told me to run.” Delving deeper into the form of that special communication, Staci explained, “I attend Rob Goyette’s church, Living Waters. At a Tuesday morning worship session and in deep prayer many months ago, I heard in my spirit that I am to run for City Commission. I shared this with my fellow prayer partners that I was sensing the Lord’s still, quiet voice in my heart. I got immediate confirmation and support from the group and the doors began to open for me to do the extraordinary: run for office.”
Staci indicated she has no regrets and is pleased to direct her supporters to not just vote for Darron Ayscue, but support him financially and beat the streets on his behalf as she pledges to do.
Finally, when asked, due to her loss of the race, did she hear God correctly? She responded, “It is not about me. It is about the Lord. My job is to be faithful to his promptings. He is faithful. I am excited to see what He is doing next in my life because of the bold step He called me to take. This is a journey and sensing God’s hand in mine, I am very excited for what is coming next.”
James Bruner is a Citizen Reporter and near-downtown resident of Fernandina Beach