INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Former professional football defensive end Kenny Holmes has sacked the competition once more, tallying a net worth of $20 million — by far the greatest financial assets of anyone running for local political office on the Treasure Coast during this election year.
That’s according to financial disclosure forms filed with the Indian River County Elections Office and required by state law.
Chris Anderson, an attorney with the Florida Commission on Ethics, which designed the form, said voters need to know what business ties might play into the decisions an elected official makes.
“Say there’s a rezoning,” he said. “People might want to know if an official owns 100 acres next to what is being rezoned. … And the people an official owes money to could also push a button or two.”
Holmes, 36, said he felt some initial concerns about detailing his finances in public, but said he quickly realized it helps voters know what he would bring into office.
Holmes is seeking the County Commission District 4 seat without any party affiliation. He’ll be on the Nov. 2 ballot against Democrat Steven Deardeuff and the Republican nominee, either Tom Lowther or incumbent Peter O’Bryan.
“I want to put everything on the table, let everyone know what’s what and where everything comes from,” he said.
For instance, there’s no reference to the NFL as an income source. Holmes said that’s because he got his last NFL check in 2005, when he retired.
Instead, Holmes lists millions of dollars worth of local real estate investments, including his $1.1 million home on 12th Street and the MLK Chevron business at 45th Street and U.S. 1. It’s owned by Markin LLC, of which Holmes is president. He lists the Chevron business value at $1.3 million.
“Some really good people were my mentors and helped me learn how to manage such a large amount of money for such a young age,” he said.
Multimillionaires, though with fewer millions, are no strangers to the County Commission. Vice Chairman Bob Solari, who was elected in 2008 to the District 5 seat, cited a 2009 net worth of $3.4 million. He does not face re-election this year.
Kimberly Keithahn, one of five candidates seeking the School Board District 5 seat, meanwhile tallied the second-highest net worth among the current countywide races — $1.05 million.
Most of her assets are in the stock market, with almost $457,000 from Vanguard Group mutual funds. But she said that comes as part of a life of working, starting with childhood jobs, and a 20-year marriage marked by being frugal. Keithahn is married to financial consultant Tim Keithahn.
“We’ve both been very hard workers and fiscally conservative all our lives,” she said, but stressed candidates should be judged on their qualifications and not their net worth.
Keithahn faces Harry Hall, Jeff Pegler and Ardra Rigby in Tuesday’s nonpartisan race for the seat being vacated by Debbie MacKay. The winner will be on the Nov. 2 ballot against write-in candidate Althea McKenzie.
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY COMMISSION CANDIDATES’ PERSONAL FINANCES
Incumbents are noted with an asterisk (*).
JOE FLESCHER, Republican *
Income: $56,400 (county salary), $32,300 (New York police pension)
Net worth 2009: $296,800
Homestead address: 279 Joy Haven Drive, Sebastian ($189,300)
Other assets: Automobiles, $13,000; Marriott stock, $7,000; Household goods, $337,000
Liabilities: Riverside Bank loan, $45,000; Chrysler Financial, $2,000
DALE I. SIMCHICK, Republican
Income: $40,057 (Sheriff’s Office salary), $6,300 (Sebastian City Council salary)
Net worth 2009: $454,758
Homestead address: 766 Easy St., Sebastian ($260,840)
Other assets: Lot in LaCrosse, Fla. $50,000; lot in Crossville, Tenn., $30,200; inheritance, $25,000; several mobile-home lots in Fort McCoy, Fla. $17,802; Household goods, $77,858; IRC Credit Union Roth IRA $2,347; IRC Credit Union savings $,1,705
Liabilities: PNC Bank, $10,993
CHARLIE WILSON, Republican
Income: $81,840 (from business)
Net worth 2009: $97,344
Homestead address: None
Other assets: Condominium on Sixth Avenue, $124,000; Media Arts Group (private business), $20,000; Seacoast Bank, $1,520; Household goods, $45,000
Liabilities: Chase mortgage, $79,233; PNC Home Equity, $8,358; Chevron, $2,585
DAVID SNELL, Democrat
Income: $29,299 (CVS Pharmacy Distribution Center salary)
Net worth 2009: $12,724
Homestead address: None
Other assets: 1993 Lincoln Town Car (value unknown); Household goods, $2,500
Liabilities: Sallie-Mae student loan, $41,224
CAROLYN CORUM, Independent
Income: $13,269 (Thorpe Sotheby’s International Realty)
Net worth 2009: $133,000
Homestead address: 881 Dolores St., Sebastian ($76,000)
Other assets: Wachovia Bank retirement/savings $21,000; Automobile $13,000; Household goods, $12,000; Bank of America CD, $11,000
THOMAS S. LOWTHER, Republican
Income: $44,695 (Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home)
Net worth 2009: $497,000
Homestead address: 696 20th Ave., Vero Beach ($250,000)
Other assets: Vero Beach Funeral Home Inc., $181,579; Lowther Cremation Service Inc., $245,632
Liabilities: PNC Bank mortgage, $181,000
PETER D. O'BRYAN, Republican *
Income: $83,640 (per joint federal tax return)
Net worth 2009: $430,461
Homestead address: 2255 11th Lane, Vero Beach ($160,270)
Other assets: Stocks $23,665; Roth IRA $21,557; IRA $36,677; 401K $9,630; Household goods $122,500
Liabilities: Capital Bank, $114,000
STEVEN DEARDEUFF, Democrat
Income: $49,834 (School District salary); $42,652 (county salary); $1,655 (Arizona retirement)
Net worth 2009: $50,920
Homestead address: 1106 21st Court, Vero Beach ($190,000)
Other assets: Wachovia Bank, $2,000; Chase, $2,500; Household goods, $20,000
Liabilities; Wells Fargo mortgage, $163,580
KENNETH HOLMES, no party affiliation
Income: $14,600 (rental income)
Net worth 2009: $20 million
Homestead address: 4555 12th St., Vero Beach ($1.1 million)
Other assets: MLK Chevron station, $1.3 million; Gas Market, $1.1 million; Smith Plaza Grocery, $600,000; Fountain Net commercial area $300,000; Household goods, $12 million
Liabilities: RBC Bank home mortgage, $300,000; RBC commercial mortgages, $315,000Click here to order Kenny Holme’s proCane Rookie Card.