The question that has been coming up in Polk County Republican circles is Randy Wilkinson wanting to come back to the Polk County Republican Executive Committee. Wilkinson has been seen at least two Executive Committee events in the past two weeks. The first sighting of Wilkinson was at the special meeting called by the membership of the Executive Committee on November 9th at the Polk County Commission board room. Also, Wilkinson showed up at the candidate forum at the Bartow Civic Center on November 16th. There are many questions regarding Wilkinson showing up at these events especially after running under the Florida Tea Party.
Wilkinson who has been elected to the Polk County School Board and the Polk County Board of County Commissioners as a Republican made a controversial move by leaving the Republican Party during the primary season to run for United States Congress under the Florida Tea Party political party. The Florida Tea Party was exposed during the campaign season,by an Orlando TV station http://wdbo.com/localnews/2010/09/alan-grayson-subpoenaed-in-tea.html, linking Democrat Congressman Alan Grayson to funding this political party. The party was designed to split conservative votes and help Alan Grayson’s reelection race and the Congressional District 12 race in Florida which Wilkinson was running in.
Wilkinson alienated himself from the very supporters that helped get him elected to several political offices in the county. It can be thought that Wilkinson is the Charlie Crist of Polk County by leaving the party because he felt he couldn’t win the primary. Wilkinson eventually lost his bid for Congress with around 10% of the vote and now the question is does he want to come back to the Republican Party.
Nothing is stopping Wilkinson from actually coming back to the Republican Party by any means. By just switching his voter registration he can come back to the party. The question remains is he going to attempt to rejoin the Republican Executive Committee? Many people even registered Republicans do not know that there is a loyalty oath involved with the Executive Committee. No member can support a candidate that is not a Republican in an election. Wilkinson broke his oath by leaving and running under the Florida Tea Party.
Wilkinson may have believed he could win in a three way race for Congressional District 12, but the Florida Tea Party was exposed for its ties to Democrat Alan Grayson. Wilkinson whether he knew about it before or after he ran for Congress should have realized that broke the oath and coming back “home” would not only be difficult, but not even considered. The Executive Committee takes an oral vote to confirm its members and if Wilkinson tries to join again it may create an unnecessary distraction heading towards an important 2012 political season. The real question is not does Randy Wilkinson want to come back, but would the Republican Executive Committee even consider it.