Candidate's $100-a-Month Office Rent Raises Questions; A Citizen Asks the Florida Elections Commission to Look into the Issue

Article excerpt


With the primary election about two weeks away, St. Johns County Commission candidate Randy Brunson is getting grilled about the amount of rent he's paying for his campaign headquarters in St. Augustine.

The rent isn't much, only $100 a month.

And the accommodations are far from plush. Brunson said he's sharing the tiny space with rodents and insects.

Regardless, resident Ed Slavin has asked the Florida Elections Commission to look into the amount that Brunson is paying to rent the space and why Brunson has failed to include the rent amount in his campaign expense reports, a violation of campaign finance laws.

Brunson said he didn't list the rent expense until his August campaign finance report because, according to his lease, he didn't have to pay the rent, $800 total, until the lease was up in August.

Slavin has questioned why Brunson paid so little, only $100 a month, for a building on a $2.1 million property.

The headquarters is in a building that had been Bozard Ford at 1800 Ponce de Leon Blvd. in St. Augustine.

Brunson said there's a very good reason he's paying only $100 a month, and that anyone who visits his office would understand. He said the small office he rents has mice, termites and other bugs, and that "the water smells horrible; I have no idea why. …