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FL Woman Wins Dem Primary, Repub Boss Fires Her For It

Growing up we’re taught to be all we can be, to push ourselves to become leaders, and to never give up. But in the Osceola County Commission race, a Democratic nominee has been fired from her day job for doing just that, because her employer is a donor to the campaign of the Republican incumbent.

Way to go, Florida.

Viviana Janer is a first time candidate. She won the August 26th Democratic primary with 72 percent of the vote and will face Republican John Quiñones in the general election.  But she’ll do that as an unemployed person. According to the Orlando Journal-Sentinel, campaign finance reports show that Marriott International gave $1,000 to the Quinones campaign in March.  Janer’s employer, Marriott Worldwide Vacations, spun off from Marriott International in 2011.  

From the Journal-Sentinel:

Her termination letter, signed by Senior Vice President and Chief Audit Executive Julie Meyer, also stated Janer, who began her campaign in January, never notified her employer she was running for office. Meyer noted in the letter that she’d only learned of Janer’s candidacy from press coverage of the primary election.

During a Sept. 17 meeting, the letter states, “you admitted that you had concluded that your supervisors would not authorize you to pursue your candidacy while remaining in your position, and for that reason you did not raise it to management’s attention nine months earlier or any time thereafter.”

For Janer, the message was clear: ‘Quit the race or lose your job.’

Despite a disadvantage in fundraising — the newbie has $18,345 on hand while Quinones has a war chest of $60,475 — Janer has a fighting chance in the race for the District 2 seat where Democrats outnumber Republicans 70,681 to 42,102.  Janer beat her opponent in the primary with 1,639 votes, a total that is more than what was all three Republican candidates received combined.  Janer would be the first Hispanic woman — and the second women overall — to serve on the Osceola County Commission.  

After losing her job, which she held for 11 years, Janer reached out to U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson for help, the Journal-Sentinel writes:

U.S. Rep Alan Grayson’s campaign said that Janer approached Grayson last week for advice. Grayson, whose district includes all of Osceola County, called the firing “a disgrace” and said he’s reached out to Marriott to address the situation.

“I think it’s a stinking maneuver to rob her of her job and rob the voters of their votes,” Grayson said.

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