Jerry Couey on November 7 pre-filed for the District 3 County Commission race. During the 2019 special election campaign, he was frequently spotted along busy local roadways, waving at passersby while standing beside his truck, which was adorned with a bright yellow “No new taxes” sign. Following the October 8 landslide defeat of the local option sales tax referendum, Couey has since repainted the sign for his campaign.
The Santa Rosa County Commission, School Board and Holley-Navarre Water System could see new leadership next year.
Three seats are up for grabs on the county commission: District 1 (Pace), District 3 (North Santa Rosa) and District 5 (Gulf Breeze).
So far District 1 Commissioner Sam Parker has three fellow Republicans challenging him for the seat, which represents the Pace area: Stacy Bryan, E.M. “Pete” Reeser and Geoff Ross.
District 3 Commissioner Don Salter has not yet pre-filed for re-election. If he does, he will face off against at least three Republicans, Ryan Adkins, Jerry Couey and Gage Schlegel.
District 5 Commissioner Lane Lynchard has also not yet pre-filed. Only one candidate has pre-filed for that race, Colten Wright.
No candidates have pre-filed for the county’s constitutional offices, leaving the following elected officials unopposed at this time: Property Appraiser Greg Brown, Sheriff Bob Johnson, Tax Collection Stan Colie Nichols, Clerk of Court Donny Spencer and Supervisor of Elections Tappie Villane.
In the non-partisan school board races, Districts 2 and 4 are up for re-election.
Elizabeth Hewey is challenging incumbent Buddy Hinote for District 2.
To date Felicia Fortune Northcutt of Pace is the sole candidate pre-filed for the District 4 seat currently held by Jennifer Granse, who has stated she does not plan to seek re-election.
Additionally, Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick has also announced he will not seek another term. Long-time school district administrators David Gunter and Mike Thorpe have pre-filed in that race.
The 2020 primary election will take place August 18. The last day for Santa Rosa County residents to register to vote in the primary will be July 20, 2020.
In the Holley-Navarre Water System election, which will take place in January 2020, Navarre businessman James Dabney and newcomer Grant Summers signed up to run against incumbents Yvonne Harper and Mark Miller. Only utility members can cast a vote in the HNWS election.