Communication Builds Our Community

Fitzgerald and Goldstein for LW City Commission Seat 4

Municipal Election April 6

In the April 6 municipal election political newcomer Kris Fitzgerald faces off with incumbent Al Goldstein to represent Seat 4 on the Lake Wales City Commission.

One of the few similarities between the two candidates is they both served in the military – Fitzgerald in the U.S. Air Force and Goldstein in the U.S. Marines. They are very different in age, race, work status and political affiliation.

Despite the position being nonpartisan, both accepted and then returned contributions from partisan political groups – Goldstein from the Polk Republican Executive Committee and Fitzgerald from the Democratic Women's Club of Florida. Donations from partisan groups are prohibited by city ordinance and considered "unfair campaign practices."

As of April 1, Goldstein collected 20 campaign contributions, averaging $260 for a total of $5,205. He spent $4,973, a majority on campaign signs, and flyers inserted in the Lake Ashton newsletter. He did no direct mailing and was the only city candidate this year to purchase radio advertising, spending $1,963 or nearly 40 percent of his total campaign funds with Boss Hogg Radio, which broadcasts from AM 1360 in Winter Haven promoting a "Heinz 57 music format Playing No Rap and No Crap."

Fitzgerald reported 30 contributions, averaging $89 for a total of $2,682. She reported spending $2,689, mostly on signs, banner materials, a postcard mailer and a Family Unity Event at Kiwanis Park.

A retiree, Goldstein, 79, is completing his first term as a commissioner. He was elected without opposition in 2019 when incumbent Commissioner Tonya Stewart fell short of the petition signatures she needed to qualify. Being retired he considers himself a full-time commissioner, regularly attending meetings of various city boards and committees and participating in state and national organizations of municipal officials.

Goldstein moved to Lake Wales eight years ago. His family traces its Florida roots back to 1845, and Goldstein grew up in Hollywood in South Florida. He worked in government and contract services and owned his own business prior to retiring in 1995. His priorities for Lake Wales are community trust, education, smart growth with economic development.

Goldstein collected endorsements from several prominent local politicians, including Sheriff Grady Judd, Florida Rep. Melony Bell and Polk County Commissioners Neil Combee, Bill Braswell and Martha Santiago. He also picked up an endorsement from Florida League of Cities President Tony Ortiz, who appointed Goldstein to serve as chairman of the FLC Land Use and Economic Development Committee, and a member of the FLC Legislative Policy Committee and FLC FAST committee.

Fitzgerald, 40, serves as director of residential life at the Vanguard School. A licensed mental health counselor, Fitzerald grew up in Lake Wales and lived here except for her time in the military and college. Her priorities for Lake Wales are economic and business development, community and local governmental unification and recreation and youth services.

Fitzgerald's only involvement with city government was a brief stint on the city's Recreation Committee. She has served for more than 15 years as a volunteer with the American Red Cross and is a speaker and workshop leader on behavioral and mental health issues. She also is a member of the NAACP.

For more details on these candidates, please see stories at the following links:


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