Panama City... Republican Country?

By: Dana Arquilla
By: Dana Arquilla

For the first time in Bay County history, all five county commissioners, all five school board members, and the majority of constitutionally elected officers are Republicans.

The panhandle is Republican country, but the Democrats believe their chances around the state are getting better.

More than 100,000 residents in Bay County are registered to vote, and as of today more than 46,000 are Republicans, and 38,000 are Democrats.

These numbers have come a long way from years ago when hardly any Republicans even ran for office in Bay County. This may be true locally, but a recent Quinnapiac University poll tells a different story statewide.

The numbers show Republicans Charlie Crist and Tom Gallagher deadlocked in a bid their party’s nomination for governor. While Crist and Gallagher beat each other up, Democrats believe Democrat Jim Davis will easily win their nomination, then take the governor's mansion.

Another Quinnapiac poll shows incumbent Bill Nelson easily beating Republican Congresswoman Katherine Harris for Nelson's U.S. Senate seat by a 24-point margin.

Despite the encouraging polls, Democrats still say Republicans have the stronghold. Some say the change comes from conservative baby boomers moving to the area and military families.

Regardless of how the change happened, numbers from the supervisor of election’s office remain and for the past couple of years the Republicans have had the upper hand.

We'll find out a little less than a year from now. New polls show President Bush's approval rating as the lowest ever; 37 percent approved of his performance, and 61 percent disapproved.

And again to show the bipartisanship, Floridians favor two New Yorkers for presidential nominations. One Democrat (Hillary Clinton) and one Republican (Rudy Giuliani.)


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