Based on votes by the current city commissioners and the nomination process, Tabitha Frazier is the odds on favorite to be selected on December 31st to replace Scott Maddox on the Tallahassee City Commission.
Frazier was the only applicant to receive support from three city commissioners. They were City Commissioners Jeremy Matlow, Dianne Williams-Cox, and Curtis Richardson.
A review of her application, comments by supporters, and her social media posts indicate why her favorite status is not surprising. Frazier, out of the public spotlight, has chalked up a reservoir of support from grass-root activists through a high level of community engagement.
Her social media footprint documents her passion for family and the Tallahassee community.
However, Frazier’s social media also documents her disdain for Republicans, and more specifically, President Trump. Over the last six months she has weighed-in on a number of issues using language that paints a broad brush and leaves little room for discourse.
Family and Community
Frazier graduated from Lincoln High School in 1995 and then attended and graduated from Florida State University in 2001 with a BS in Environmental Studies. In 2005 she received a MS degree in Environmental Engineering Sciences from the University of Florida.
Frazier currently serves on the Leon County Soil and Water Conservation District. She was appointed in 2011 and was subsequently elected to the position in 2012 and 2016. The position is non-paying and provides her an opportunity to be involved with her interest in the environment.
She wrote in her cover letter to the city commission that “My husband and I have chosen to build our lives in Tallahassee and it’s my hope that our children will also choose to make Tallahassee their permanent home.”
She and her husband are parents to three children and she has served on the Gilchrist Elementary School Advisory Council (SAC) since 2011.
Frazier lists as her accomplishments the creation of the Leon Fruit and Nut Exchange and the development of an urban gleaning program that provides food to some of the most vulnerable and underserved citizens.
Also, Ms. Frazier obtained tax exempt status and founded a not-for-profit business, Leon Trees, Inc., dedicated to protecting and improving the “urban forest that gives Tallahassee its sense of place.”
City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow – who was the only city commissioner to post on Facebook his rationale for each of his selections – wrote that Frazier “ has been actively engaged in our community as both an elected official on the Soil & Water Conservation District and as a community leader…I believe she would make a fine Commissioner. “
Matlow also nominated Dr. Howard Kessler and Dr. Bruce Strouble.
Politics and Partisanship
Frazier is also active in political circles. She served as committeewoman for the Leon County Democratic Party from 2012-2016 and has donated money to the the local Democratic Party and other local Democratic candidates.
For example, she supported Matlow during his run for city commission and held a fundraiser for his campaign.
She is also active on her Facebook account with regards to politics. TR’s review of approximately 10 posts on her account over the last six months discovered several derogatory social media posts that take aim at Republicans and President Donald Trump.
The posts often refer to a policy or action by President Trump and then include Frazier’s assessment which, many times, includes broad attacks on anyone that supports President Trump.
For example, one of Frazier’s shared posts was a cartoon that referenced the legitimacy of Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the US Supreme Court. The cartoon depicts a man -who is labeled a Republican – assaulting a blindfolded woman.
In another post, Frazier shares a story from the Baltimore Sun and proclaims that “America’s racist all support Trump.”
And in a post on October 2, 2018, Frazier’s disagreement over a policy change is posted with this comment: “It’s Sh*t like this …..Only terrible people support this Republican administration.”
The Trump policy amended and updated a change that was instituted by the Obama administration in 2009.
Facebook posts have become a part of the electoral process. During the last election cycle a local candidate was called out by the Tallahassee Democrat and several opinion writers based on Facebook posts that were viewed as derogatory toward Muslims and President Obama.
What impact will these posts have on Frazier’s candidacy for a non-partisan position in a mostly Democratic town?
City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow told TR that “expressions on social media will be one factor I use to rank [the] nine highly qualified applicants. However, I refuse to hold any candidate to a higher standard than our President.”
Daniel Parker, a self-described progressive and a TR contributor, said that “there is nothing wrong with being in a position of leadership and showing some emotion, even bluntness, though I think she’ll need to be more cognizant of some of this moving forward. She and others are still a clear upgrade to the public trust over Maddox. ”
TR posed the following questions to Ms. Fraizer:
Based on the partisan nature of a number of your Facebook posts, what can you say to assure Tallahassee Republicans – which is about 30% of the population – you will be open and respectful to their concerns as a city commissioner?
As a city commissioner, will you continue to post political comments consistent in tone with the ones you have posted in the past?
We will post her comments when they are received.
Other Frazier Facebook posts are listed below: