OPINION: Santa Rosa’s Republicans Will Decide Key Local Races

Posted on June 15, 2022 by EDITORIAL BOARD


It’s qualifying week for political races, meaning potential candidates must qualify by 12 noon on Friday, June 17.

That’s done by submitting oaths, financial disclosure forms plus a qualifying fee, unless signed petitions were submitted in lieu of the fee (petitions were due 28 days prior to the June 13 start of qualifying). 

So far this week, write-in candidates have prefiled in several key local races:  Clifton Wheeler of Milton signed up for the District 2 race, Harlan Hall of Navarre signed up for the Santa Rosa County District 4 Commissioner race and Sandra Maddox signed up for Florida House District 3, meaning the August 23 primaries for those seats are no longer universal but closed to non-Republican voters.

As of today, nearly 60 percent of Santa Rosa County’s voters are Republican, less than 18 percent are Democrat and around 24 percent are other, per the Santa Rosa County Supervisor of Elections Office.

School board races and judgeships are non-partisan races, meaning that if one candidate does not win by a 50 percent plus one-vote majority the winner will be decided during a runoff between the top two candidates during the November 8 General Election. Voters of all party affiliations can vote in those races during both the Primary and General Elections.

Also, during the General Election, voters of all parties get to cast a ballot in each race. However, the likelihood of a write-in candidate winning is slim to none, meaning only Republicans will truly get a say for County Commission Districts 2 and 4 plus Florida House District 3.

We can expect Democrats to lash out on social media over this. 

As of the time of this posting, 48 hours remain for candidates to qualify by writing a check to cover the qualifying fee.

Write-in candidates don’t have to pay.

For anyone who would like to change to the Republican party so they can vote in the August 23 Primary Election, visit Register to Vote Florida.gov to update your registration by July 25.