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Will Fernandina Remain Bedford Falls or Become Pottersville? City Voters Will Decide December 13

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By Dave Scott, 11-11-22

Fernandina Beach residents have another chance Tuesday, December 13 to prevent their idyllic community going from a classic Norman Rockwell setting to a far left hellscape of cultural demolition and wokeness.

Two of the worst candidates to ever run for elected office in Fernandina Beach – activist left wingers Genece Minshew and Mike Lednovich – are in a December 13 runoff because they thankfully didn’t win 50 percent of the vote this past Tuesday.

There is one more opportunity for residents to vote for chiropractor Dr. James Antun and firefighter Darron Ayscue to keep Fernandina sane, safe, and secure and prevent it from transitioning from Bedford Falls into Pottersville. Ayscue and Antun will cement communal stability instead of undermining its foundations.

In his victory speech Tuesday evening Governor Ron DeSantis said: “Florida is where wokeness goes to die.” Let’s hope that Fernandina candidates Darron Ayscue and Dr. James Antun can bury it in Fernandina Beach by winning the Group 4 and 5 seats on the City Commission.

The red political wave predicted for most of the U.S. didn’t occur last Tuesday. It stopped in Florida, with enough ripples flowing across the rest of the country to give Republicans a majority in the House and keep the Senate out of Democrat control.

We will find out December 13 if  Florida’s red wave made it all the way to Fernandina when voters will decide if they want California transplant Mike Lednovich, a guy who parades around town wearing a Black Lives Matter sandwich board and who won’t answer any questions posed to him by citizens or the media.

Or do Fernandina residents want the other far left candidate, Genece Minshew, who isn’t any better, perhaps even worse?

Minshew scrubbed her social media sites to hide all the LGBTQA+ material including transgender fluidity for minors she normally touts.

Both Minshew and Lednovich were endorsed by the Democrat Club of Amelia Island that also endorsed Charlie Crist and all other far left state candidates. Click on the link below to see who else keeps company with Minshew and Lednovich.


Minshew and Lednovich are the only local candidates refusing to answer a County Citizens Defending Freedom (CCDF-Nassau) voter questionnaire survey that asked a range of questions about a variety of local issues.

Both refused to answer any of the questions concerning the use of city restrooms by biological males as well as questions on abortion within the city limits, the removal of the city’s history, city governmental regulations and more. See for yourself all the questions and who answered and who refused by clicking here: Voter Guide for Nassau School Board and Fernandina Council Election- 2022

They both also refused to answer “yes” or “no” to the question: “Would you support Fernandina Beach positioning itself in promotional material as a Gay Vacation Destination?” On December 13 residents have an opportunity to respond to that question.

Current Mayor Lednovich, Minshew in her pride truck.

Minshew is the head of President of Fernandina Beach Pride, an LGBTQA+ advocacy group, and has plenty of experience promoting that agenda, having lived in Decatur, Georgia, and Asheville, North Carolina, two far left cities infested with the radicalization of the educational system and cultural vandalism. Both communities embrace leftist political indoctrination rather than learning; special identity demands, transgender activism, speech codes, assaults on the realities of history, drag queen story times for kids, etc. Minshew has been reported to publicly state numerous times that she wants to make Fernandina Beach a “gay destination.”  She, like Lednovich, has refused to answer a series of questions from citizens and the media on these topics. Both refused to respond to emails or phone calls asking why they won’t answer.

Other than this blog the only other local media outlet to call them out is the new online publication  Citizens Journal Florida . The blind online Observer and timid print News Leader both ignore the story. Why?

Ayscue is president of the local firefighters union and has been a critic of the city’s mismanaged budgeting and advocates a millage reduction.

Dr. Antun and his Chiropractor wife, Jayde, jointly operate a Fernandina chiropractic clinic. Dr. Antun is an articulate public speaker with traditional family values and promotes strict budgetary discipline.

Both Antun and Ayscue answered each question on the CCDF voter questionnaire and have never refused to respond to media questions. Lednovich and Minshew only respond to their supporters’ powder puff questions and ignore all others, hoping no one will notice.

Ayscue has picked up the endorsement of Staci McMonagle the third candidate in the Group 5 race, who has asked her voters to support the local fireman.

As of this posting a poll still running here indicates that 94 percent (103 respondents) said they think all candidates should have responded to the CCDF questionnaire. Only 6 percent ( 7 respondents) said they shouldn’t. The last time Minshew ran for the Commission she only lost by 38 votes so 100 votes on December 13 can send these two outliers packing.

To keep Fernandina going from Rockwell to raunch vote for Dr. James Antun and Darron Ayscue December 13. Voter turnout in this runoff is key!


Do residents want drag queens reading to kids in Fernandina Beach classrooms and the library?

Ayscue & Antun Support DeSantis’s Policies: Florida has been in the forefront concerning parental rights in the classroom and Governor DeSantis stood his ground, fighting back against Critical Race Theory, obscene books in libraries pushing transgenderism on kids, and teaching sexually explicit topics to young children. The governor also took a strong stance against COVID lockdowns in schools and across the state. He has fought to give parents the right to decide what is appropriate for their children, not the schools. These are all policies that both Ayscue and Antun agree upon. Minshew and Lednovich won’t tell voters where they stand. Their silence answers for them.

Six Republican school board candidates backed by Governor Ron DeSantis won their races across Florida on Tuesday, claiming his endorsement is “what put us over the edge” and paved the way for them to push for parental rights in classrooms. These two support the same programs the popular governor backs.


Two More Years and Then? Following his reelection Governor Ron DeSantis also said that Florida has “maintained law and order” in addition to “protecting the rights of parents” and “respecting our taxpayers.” The victorious governor is being touted as the favorite for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024.

“In Florida, we will not let the far left woke agenda take over our schools and workplaces. There is no place for indoctrination or discrimination in Florida,” he said at the time. DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education law in March, which was infamously and incorrectly branded by Democratic opponents as “anti-gay.”

In April, DeSantis signed a bill prohibiting critical race theory from being taught in Florida schools. Earlier this month, the Florida Board of Medicine and the Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine banned puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and transgender surgeries for minors.

“We will not back down to woke corporations and their same tired tactics that are steeped in hypocrisy,” Florida Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez, a Republican, said at the time. “As a mother of three, I am committed to protecting the rights of parents.”

DeSantis also signed a bill revoking Disney World’s special status as an independent special district in what many conservatives saw as a key win against “woke capitalism” after it attacked the Parental Rights in Education law.

In his victory speech Tuesday evening Governor  Ron DeSantis  promised a relentless fight against “woke” indoctrination pledging to make Florida a “citadel of freedom” in the United States.

The governor made it clear that he would continue to deliver on policies and values that have made him a national figure with conservatives and a target of the left, both political feathers in his cap.

DeSantis didn’t pull any punches saying: “We have embraced freedom. We have maintained law and order. We have protected the rights of parents. We have respected our taxpayers. And we reject woke ideology,” drawing loud applause.

“We will never, ever surrender to the woke mob,”  the governor promised. Florida is where woke goes to die!”

The Republican heavyweight’s margin of victory outstripped even the most optimistic projections.

DeSantis won nearly 60 percent of the statewide vote with more than a million-vote win over political has-been Democrat Charlie Crist.


OK, Charlie, Stacey & Beto, Now Please Go Away: Governor DeSantis’s victory speech could also be considered Charlie Crist’s political eulogy since that pathetic sap has no more political parties to turn to or offices to run for. Stick a fork in poor ‘ole Charlie, he’s done, his political goose is cooked. Nobody wants him, nobody. He won just five of 67 Florida counties. DeSantis even took heavily Democratic Dade County. Maybe Crist can join up with that silly little dancing monkey, Beto O’Rourke, who was crushed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, and sad sack Georgia gubernatorial candidate, Stacey Abrams, who was soundly defeated by Brian Kemp and join the Washington Generals, the perpetual losers to the Harlem Globetrotters.  The only good thing about this trio of losers is they burned through millions of dollars in Democrat campaign cash and got nothing for it. They now belong out on the curb with the rest of the wretched Democrat rejects including Florida’s pathetic Andrew Gillum (Does anybody remember that pervert?) in the Democrat dumpster.

Based on Tuesday’s election results it appears that before casting their ballots a majority of Florida and Texas voters went grocery shopping, filled their cars with gas, paid their bills, then looked at their 401Ks.


Wait! What? Following Tuesday’s election, I’m afraid to drive through Pennsylvania. Any group of people that collectively assembled to vote for an empty grunting husk to represent them in the U.S. Senate have more mental issues than John Fetterman, the vacant vessel they elected. Instead of heading to Washington D.C. this guy should be back at his old day job ringing the bells at Notre Dame in Paris.  


Drinking, Dining & Dancing: I used to enjoy visiting the Doo Wop Diner for breakfast at 1120 South 14th Street near the now shuttered movie theater. Since the Doo Wop closed the site has had three different tenants including the New Orleans Diner, a short-lived soul food joint called Southern Sisters and most recently Big Al’s Chicken Shack.

I miss sitting at Doo Wop’s old fashioned lunch counter watching reruns of I Love Lucy and listening to 1950s Rock & Roll music while reading the paper and having breakfast. The swivel stools and lunch counter are gone. Big Al, who I’ve never met, isn’t much on décor but makes up for it with his generous, tasty, and economical plates, at least the breakfast ones I’ve enjoyed. I haven’t had lunch there yet, and because they serve breakfast from opening till close, I might never.

Customers order from a breast pocket-size paper menu, or the handwritten specials of the day scribbled on a board next to the cash register then await a server to being them their order at one of the Formica tables left over from the other eateries. There are also a couple of tables sitting on the sidewalk out front.

During my visits I’ve gotten into a rut and order the $8.50 Shack Breakfast. With tax I paid $9.11. For that I got two eggs over easy, a huge bowl of grits, a slice of multigrain toast, a pile of hash brown potatoes, and two sausage patties and two pads of butter. I couldn’t eat it all. I defy you to find a deal like this anywhere else hereabouts. And I don’t mean some sanitized, corporate formula recipe chain like McDonalds or Panera Bread.

My Big Al’s $8.50 breakfast

Big Al’s food is very good, the prices more than reasonable, the service friendly and fast and the atmosphere relaxed. I receive a glass of iced tea for free once and happily paid $2.50 for coffee another time.

There are a variety of other breakfast selections ranging from Chicken and Waffles and Chicken and Pancakes (both $7.50) to Biscuits and Gravy ($6.00) and Biscuit Breakfast Sandwich ($7.50).

Since the joint is labeled a “Chicken Shack”, chicken, as expected, plays a major role coming in sandwiches, buckets, boxes, soups, wraps and a variety of wing selections. The most expensive item I could find on the menu was a bucket of 12 pieces of fried chicken with two sides for $24.95. Sides include collard greens, mac and cheese, coleslaw, mashed potatoes and more.. A hamburger, short rib and a brisket burger are also listed for $10.50. There are also a variety of salads and desserts.

Oh, as far as I know it is the only place on the island or nearby that serves the Canadian favorite, Poutine, a pile of fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. There is also a $7.50 fried chicken liver or fried chicken gizzard box with two sides.

Big Al’s  is open every day except Sunday from 9 am until 9 pm. You can order online at BigAlsChickenShack.com or call them at 904/775-5195.


American Legion Post 54 is hosting this year’s Veterans Day Parade  today, Friday, November 11, which will wind through downtown beginning at 11 am. Following the parade, the Post will host lunch with the Island Vibe Band entertaining from 1 pm – 4 pm.

Thanks to a generous and patriotic donation from local residents, James and Carla Houchins, tonight , Friday 11, the Post will feature the popular local Honey Badgers band from 7-10 pm.

It’s all open to the public and food and a full bar are available.

The Legion is located at the corner of South 3rd Street and Gum. Stop by today, salute a veteran, enjoy the music, and buy Jim and Carla a drink.

Republished with the author’s permission. Read The Dave Scott Blog– subscribe Free

Veteran reporter, publicist, blogger Dave Scott of Fernandina Beach

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal Florida.

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