Wakulla County sees more registered Republican voters for first time in history

Wakulla County sees more registered Republican voters for first time in history
Wakulla County sees more registered Republican voters for first time in history
Posted at 4:25 PM, Aug 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-03 16:25:00-04

WAKULLA COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) - For the first time in Wakulla County history, there are more registered Republican voters than Democrats.

There's more than one way to explain the political shift.

"We hear about the blue wave, but I don't think we'll see the blue wave in Wakulla County," said Ralph Thomas, Chairman of Wakulla Republican Executive Committee.

The political pendulum here is swinging towards the right and that's significant in the Big Bend.

The Wakulla County Supervisor of Elections' office reports two dozen more active Republican voters than Democrat, but the numbers update often.

The only other Big Bend county with a Republican-registered majority is Suwannee County.

A month before the 2016 general election, a national tour bus stopped in Crawfordville with the goal of getting women to vote for the GOP.

At the time, questions about Donald Trump's past were swirling, but they didn't affect residents we talked to.

"I think Donald Trump feels fine about women. He hires women, he's never had a woman come out since he's been running to say anything about him," said Virginia Moore, President of Wakulla Republican Women's Club in Oct. 2016.

The county's GOP leadership says historically, most local candidates have been Democrats. So, voters would register with that party just so they could vote in Florida's closed primary system, but local leaders say look at government now.

"We've got Republican leadership in Tallahassee. We've got Republican leadership in Washington, D.C., and I think people realize that now, you can be a registered Republican and make a difference in local elections," said Thomas.

County Republicans say more new residents are GOP voters and in the past two months, more Democratic voters have switched parties.

In a statement, the Wakulla County Democratic Executive Committee said: 

"Wakulla County Democrats congratulate Wakulla County Republicans on their initiative to get unaffiliated voters to register with the Republican party.  Although we are sorry to see the 24 person advantage  Republicans now count in Wakulla County voter rolls, we do not expect this will change voting patterns.  Our own focus is on getting out the vote in the upcoming midterm election. 

This midterm election will be a particularly important one for us all.  Voters will be choosing not only county, state, and federal representatives, but will also be weighing in on 13 ballot initiatives.  We hope everyone, regardless of party, will take the time to educate themselves, and make a plan to vote in the primary on August 28 and the general election on November 6."