Thursday night’s Seminole Hob Nob in Lake Mary featured a straw poll in which two candidates for the Seminole County Clerk race, Michael McLean and Sammy Gibson, came close in votes. McLean took 46 percent of the straw poll vote, but Gibson was behind him with 40 percent.

The third candidate, Grant Maloy, took home only 12 percent of the vote. But Maloy isn’t fazed – in fact, he’s proud of the fact that he doesn’t win straw polls. He chose not to attend the hob nob.

“I was out talking to voters,” he said. “Hob nobs are usually won by those who buy tickets and $100 tables.”

The clerk race has been noted as extremely competitive – with each candidate boasting different facets of their diverse resumes as the reasons why they’d be the best choice.

Maloy, who has the endorsement of retiring clerk Maryanne Morse, said he considers himself the best candidate in the race for his business acumen and his track record of standing up to the establishment and protecting tax dollars.

He also said he’s the only candidate who can claim to be completely independent, not having been endorsed by sheriff’s office personnel or businesspeople. He won’t be swayed by anyone if he wins the job, he said.

McLean, a businessman himself, said the job comes down to three basic functions: being the Chief Financial Officer of the county, dealing with audits and recording documents for the systems. All things he says he does with his insurance agency already.

“80 percent of the clerk’s job is financial,” he said. “I’m comfortable in that arena.”

Gibson, meanwhile, is a former Sheriff’s deputy, and said he’s most comfortable with dealing with the courts after his long, decorated career in law enforcement.

“Out of all the candidates running, I have more court experience and knowledge than all of them combined,” he said. “I was in that court system every day. And as part of the sheriff’s command staff, I helped balance a budget. My opponents have small businesses, but it’s different managing taxpayers’ money from your own budget.”

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