Fruitland Park Vice Mayor Chris Cheshire Endorses Josh Blake

Cheshire says Blake's conservative values will keep Lake County business-friendly.

October 22, 2015

LADY LAKE, Fla. — Today, the Josh Blake Campaign announced the endorsement of Dr. Chris Cheshire, Vice Mayor of Fruitland Park. Blake is running for the District 5 seat on the Lake County Commission. Cheshire is the owner of Mulberry Integrative Medicine in The Villages. “Josh Blake is a conservative leader who understands the principle of limited government,” said Cheshire. “As a business owner, I trust him to keep taxes low and implement policies that will keep our business community strong." Cheshire was elected to the City Commission of Fruitland Park in 2012. Since opening his practice in The Villages ten years ago, his business has continued to expand to meet increasing demand. Cheshire has worked with over 17,000 patients in his specialty of pain treatment over the course of his career. He graduated summa cum laude from New York College of Health Professions. “Business leaders like Chris Cheshire are one of my main motivations to serve on the County Commission, and I am honored to have his support,” said Blake. “I will fight for lower taxes and less spending so that folks like him will be able to continue to create jobs and provide good service to their customers.”


Weatherford Endorses Josh Blake for County Commission

The former House Speaker praises Blake’s integrity, work ethic, and commitment to conservative principles.

October 14, 2015

LADY LAKE, Fla. — Today, the Josh Blake Campaign announced the endorsement of Will Weatherford, former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. Weatherford served four terms in the Florida House and, during his time as Speaker from 2012 to 2014, he was the youngest Speaker in America. Blake is seeking the District 5 seat on the Lake County Commission. “Josh Blake is a principled conservative, committed to limited government and lower taxes. I know him to be a strong servant leader with unshakable integrity and a strong work ethic,” said Weatherford. “Lake County citizens will be well served by his fresh, conservative voice on their county commission.” As Speaker, Weatherford led the Florida House to work with the Senate to pass significant reforms, including historic improvements to Florida’s ethics and campaign finance laws. He also championed a Florida GI Bill, a significant expansion of school choice, and a $500 million tax cut. Colleagues on both sides of the aisle have praised Weatherford’s inclusive leadership style. “Speaker Weatherford is one of Florida’s great conservative leaders, and I am honored to have his support,” said Blake. “I look forward to following his model of servant leadership and commitment to increasing opportunity for everyone by keeping taxes low and supporting pro-growth policies." Weatherford was named a “Rising Star” by the Conservative Political Action Conference, a “Champion of Economic Freedom” by Americans for Prosperity, and “Legislator of the Year” by the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Bankers Association. The Washington Post named him one of their “40 under 40” people in politics outside Washington.


Baxley Endorses Josh Blake for County Commission

The Florida House leader backs Blake because of his commitment to fight for conservative principles.

October 7, 2015

LADY LAKE, Fla. — Today, the Josh Blake Campaign announced the endorsement of State Representative Dennis Baxley. Baxley is serving his 7th term in the Florida House of Representatives and is a former Speaker Pro Tem. Blake is seeking the District 5 seat on the Lake County Commission. “Josh Blake is a solid conservative leader, and I am proud to back him because he will do what’s right for our families and businesses,” said Baxley. “He believes strongly in our Second Amendment rights, and I know he will stand up to protect the liberties of all Lake County citizens.” Baxley currently represents District 23 in the Florida House, where he chairs the Local and Federal Affairs Committee. He is known as a steadfast conservative across a broad range of issues, notably marriage, life, and family. He is also an ardent defender of Second Amendment rights and is the author of Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law. He has received numerous awards over the course of his legislative career, including being named a Defender of Freedom by the National Rifle Association, a Friend of Free Enterprise by the Associated Builders and Contractors, and Child Advocate of the Year by Children's Home Society. The Florida Chamber of Commerce has named Baxley a Distinguished Advocate in addition to including him on their legislative Honor Roll numerous times. “It is truly an honor to have Rep. Baxley’s support because he is the model of a committed, conservative public servant,” said Blake. “I will work hard to follow his outstanding example of standing by my convictions and fighting for what is right. I look forward to continuing to work with him.”


Larry Cretul endorses Josh Blake for County Commission

The former Florida House Speaker praised Blake's character and conservative credentials.

September 3, 2015

LADY LAKE, Fla. — Today, the Josh Blake Campaign announced the endorsement of former Florida House Speaker Larry Cretul, who has a long history of leadership in Florida government at both the local and state levels. Blake is seeking the Lake County Commission District 5 seat. “Josh Blake is the committed conservative Lake County needs,” said former Florida House Speaker Larry Cretul. “I worked with Josh during my time in the Florida House and know that he deeply values the principles of limited government and free enterprise. I know what it takes to get the job done well, and Josh has what it takes.” Cretul was elected in 1994 to the Marion County Commission where he served for eight years. In 2002, he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives, where his fellow House members chose him to serve as Speaker from 2009 to 2010. During his four terms in the House, he was a champion of common sense reforms in the areas of healthcare, torts, and worker compensation. With his background in real estate and as the owner of a small residential construction business, Cretul used his firsthand experience to take the lead in the Legislature in reforming state policy to make it easier for entrepreneurs in Florida to start and develop new businesses. Blake worked closely with Cretul and other leaders during his service as a Legislative Aide to State Representative Marlene O’Toole. “Larry Cretul is a highly respected leader in our area and around Florida, and his support means the world to me,” said Blake. “I look forward to following in the footsteps of conservatives like him to work to expand opportunity, lessen the tax burden on hardworking citizens, and increase government accountability.”


O'Toole Endorses Blake for County Commission

State Representative Marlene O’Toole says Blake’s solid conservative values make him the best choice for the seat.

June 24, 2015

LADY LAKE, Fla. — Today, the Josh Blake for Lake County Commission Campaign announced the endorsement of State Representative Marlene O’Toole. O’Toole represents House District 33, which includes all of Sumter County and parts of Lake and Marion Counties. “Josh Blake is a proven leader who possesses strong conservative values,” said O’Toole. “Josh believes in limited government and he has a solid plan for creating more jobs in Lake County. I believe Josh Blake is the right choice to be our next Lake County Commissioner in District 5." O’Toole has served in the Florida Legislature since 2008. Prior to that, she had a thirty-year career with IBM, retiring as the Regional Manager for the South. During her legislative career, O’Toole has been frequently recognized for her strong support of business, receiving the Associated Builders and Contractors Friend of Free Enterprise Award in 2009, 2011, and 2012. She was also honored by the Florida Chamber of Commerce with their Distinguished Advocate Award in 2010 and their Honor Roll Award in 2009, 2011, and 2012. The Associated Industries of Florida named her a Florida Champion for Business in 2011. “Our campaign is honored to have the support of a distinguished leader like Representative O’Toole,” said Blake. “We look forward to her support and guidance as we navigate the campaign trail and share our vision for limited government, lower taxes, and fewer regulations with the residents of Lake County.”


Local Leader Gus Grizzard Endorses Josh Blake

The business owner cites Blake's commitment to fiscal conservatism as reason for support.

May 20, 2015

LADY LAKE, Fla. — Today, Leesburg Realtor Gus Grizzard endorsed Josh Blake for Lake County Commission, District 5. Grizzard is the Broker/Owner of ERA Grizzard Real Estate, an award-winning and nationally recognized Lake County business. "Josh Blake is exactly the kind of fiscal conservative we need to protect working families in Lake County," said Grizzard, a third generation real estate broker and developer in Leesburg. “When county government lives outside its means and expects taxpayers to pick up the tab, it is time for a change. Josh knows that taxes are penalties, not solutions, and I know he will work hard to fight against future tax increases.” With six offices across Central Florida, Grizzard's real estate firm is the top-rated ERA company in Florida, in the top 15 in the nation, and the leading real estate company in the market. Grizzard received the Gene Francis Memorial Award for being the all-around top ERA Company in 2010 and 2011. He serves on the ERA National Advisory Council, the Board of Directors for Florida Realtors, and as Vice President of the Realtors Association of Lake and Sumter Counties. He is also a South Lake Chamber of Commerce Trustee, and, along with Blake, is a Leadership Lake County graduate. "The opportunity to work with business owners like Gus Grizzard is one of the main reasons I'm running for County Commission," said Josh Blake. "It's important to remember that the private sector, not the government, stimulates economic growth, and I'm looking forward to working hard alongside leaders like Gus to create more jobs by attracting businesses to open, expand, and move to Lake County."



Local community leader Don Buckner endorses Blake and praises the candidate's vision for smaller government and a stronger economy in Lake County.

May 13, 2015

LADY LAKE, Fla. — Today, Republican Josh Blake announced his campaign to run for the Lake County Commission in District 5. Blake is a fifth-generation Central Floridian who currently serves as the Legislative Aide for State Representative Marlene O'Toole. "I would like to see Lake County cut waste, create jobs, lower taxes, and focus on building reserves," said candidate Josh Blake. "Elected officials have a responsibility to protect taxpayers and their tax dollars, and we need to promote private sector growth, not government expansion." Blake was born in Winter Park, Florida, in 1981, the oldest of four children. After living for three years in Atlanta while his father attended seminary, the family moved to Lake County in 1987. He graduated from Lake-Sumter Community College before earning his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. After working on special elections for the Republican Party of Florida, he went to work in the Florida House of Representatives as the Legislative Aide for District 33, which includes portions of Lake, Sumter, and Marion Counties. Blake is a board member of the United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties, and an alumnus of Leadership Lake County, class of 2011. He and his wife, Jackie Bell Blake, attend Good News Church in Leesburg, where he has served in the music ministry for the last five years. "Josh Blake is exactly the type of principled family man and experienced leader that we should look for in Lake County," said Don Buckner, a community leader and successful entrepreneur in Okahumpka. "Josh knows that the tax-and-spend mentality that some members of our County Commission have adopted is unacceptable. We can count on him to be a strong fiscal conservative who votes against tax increases and protects Lake County's bottom line." Don Buckner has been named Florida Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young, and his company has been named Business of the Year by both the Lake Sentinel and the Lake County Economic Development Council. "I am honored to have Don’s support," said Blake. "I'm looking forward to working with him, with other small business leaders, and with the people of our communities to make Lake County the best place to live and work."