Thursday, September 01, 2022

Keating-Joseph says family, desire for change and hard work fueled primary upset. (SAR)

I still believe in a place called Hope.

Hoping for improved coverage of local corruption led by new St. Augustine Record Executive Editor John Dunbar. 

Good article in this morning's St. Augustine Record:

Keating-Joseph says family, desire for change and hard work fueled primary upset

Krista Keating-Joseph talked with The Record in the wake of her Republican primary victory over a well-funded incumbent

Bt Sheldon Gardner, St. Augustine Record
Krista Keating-Joseph, her husband, Ron Joseph, and their daughter, Ali, 17, stand outside of the St. Johns County supervisor of elections office on the first day of Keating-Joseph's campaign on St. Patrick's Day 2022.

Krista Keating-Joseph said it took long days, tenacity and creative thinking to fuel her Republican primary victory over St. Johns County Commissioner Jeremiah Blocker, who had much more funding backing him than she did.

The combination of hard work on the part of herself, her family and the campaign crew tapped into the community's upset over growth and development and residents' desire for change, she said in an interview with The Record days after her slim victory.

"I felt in my heart that I was going to win," she said. 

Growth and development: Business could move regional HQ to St. Johns County if development is approved

Growing pains:St. Johns County still among fastest-growing counties

Keating-Joseph, of Ponte Vedra Beach, is all but guaranteed a spot on the commission now because she faces write-in candidate Michael Lanza in the general election, who will only have a blank line on the ballot in November. He's raised $0, according to the supervisor of elections. 


Meanwhile, Blocker raised $292,118 to Keating-Joseph's $26,160, according to the supervisor of elections. Blocker spent $256,812.28 of his funds, while Keating-Joseph spent $20,093.84

Keating-Joseph beat Blocker by 175 votes out of 37,635 votes cast in the race, according to the supervisor of elections. Blocker conceded before a state-mandated machine recount on Saturday.

“It has been my honor to serve the citizens of SJC as the commissioner from District 4 over the last four years,” Blocker said in a letter to Supervisor of Elections Vicky Oakes. “With all of the ballots now officially accounted for, it appears my campaign has come up short. Therefore, I am not seeking a recount in my race for St. Johns County Commission District 4. I appreciate the hard work of the elections staff during this cycle.”

'Unbridled growth' a concern in St. Johns

Keating-Joseph launched her campaign on St. Patrick's Day, posing for a photo outside of the supervisor of elections office with her husband, Ron Joseph, and Ali, their daughter. 

She cast herself as the candidate who would be tougher and smarter on proposed development than Blocker. 

In her response to The Record's candidate survey, she said her top concern was "unbridled growth."

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