Singh gets chal­lenger — time to fin­ish probe

Orlando Sentinel - - Local & State - Sen­tinel Colum­nist Scott Maxwell

To­day we’re talk­ing about bil­lions of un­trace­able tax dol­lars and the re­sults of a poll that shows how Florid­i­ans view Don­ald Trump and Joe Bi­den. (Spoiler alert: From ex­tremely po­lar­ized viewpoints.)

But first, I wanted to talk about Or­ange County’s ex­cit­ing race for prop­erty ap­praiser.

OK, so I’m not sure that any­one in his­tory has ever be­fore used the word “ex­cit­ing” to de­scribe a race for prop­erty ap­praiser.

But Or­ange county isn’t like other places. Here, in­cum­bent Democrat Rick Singh has made head­lines for ev­ery­thing from a crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion to ac­cu­sa­tions of strip­pers in his county of­fice. (I think I’d take a hard pass on that party in­vite.)

And this week, things kicked into high gear when a Demo­cratic leg­is­la­tor, state Rep. Amy Mer­cado, an­nounced she was go­ing to chal­lenge Singh — even though he’s a mem­ber of her own party.

I like that. Too of­ten, party in­sid­ers give in­cum­bent mem­bers of their own troop a pass, even when com­pe­ti­tion’s needed. It’s the kind of trib­al­ism and com­pla­cency that lets prob­lems fes­ter.

Plus, I just like giv­ing vot­ers choices. Mer­cado joins a crowded and im­pres­sive field of chal­lengers: for­mer FDLE agent Yesenia “Jesi” Baron, real es­tate exec Khalid Muneer and Matt McDon­ald, who used to work as a field ap­praiser for Singh.

If there’s a down­side for the

STEPHEN M. DOW­ELL/OR­LANDO SEN­TINEL

Or­ange County Prop­erty Ap­praiser Rick Singh has made head­lines for a crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

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