SANTA ROSA INSIDER: Parker Receives Unprecedented Support

Posted on April 11, 2024 by EDITORIAL BOARD

My jaw hit the floor when I looked at the March campaign reports. Commission Chairman Sam Parker, who is seeking re-election for the District 1 seat, filed his first campaign report since pre-filing in January. That report shows he has received more than $104,000 in donations.

Parker’s donor list reads like a Who’s Who of local business leaders and notable individuals: Don Gaetz, the Bear family, Bart Pullum, Bob Hartley, Sandy Sansing, PSC President Ed Meadows, John Roche, Jim Reeves, retired teacher’s union president Rhonda Chavers, Thomas & Shirley Cronley, Anthony Terhaar, Allen Turner, Jennifer Grove, Brian Demaria, Fred Donovan, Bryan Adams, Allan Bell, George Atchison, Ed Carson, Tamara Fountain, retired Santa Rosa County Planning Director Becky Cato, Mohamed Jaoui, John Griffing, former Florida Speaker of the House Bo Johnson, Nick Herbst, Jeff Helms, Brian McLeod, Bobby Killingsworth, and many more. Out of the 137 contributions only two, totaling $2,500 were from Parker’s own pocket.

Parker also received support from Builder Edwin Henry. Both men are active members of Pace Assembly of God. Henry has also backed another Conservative Christian candidate, Charles Elliott, who is seeking re-election to Santa Rosa County School Board.

Parker is presently facing three Republican challengers: former county code enforcement officer Bobby Burkett, who’s raised $14,098.36; realtor Zachary Reinhart, who’s raised $150 and Aaron Williams, who’s raised $2,194.71.Democrat Blake Martin had pre-filed but has since withdrawn from the race.

In the District 3 race, we won’t get a look at Commissioner James Calkins’ report until June 10 because he didn’t file until last Friday. He’s surpassed the $100K mark before, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s raised that by the next reporting deadline.

Calkins is presently facing three Republican challengers: Jerry Couey, who’s raised $21,625 and Rhett Rowell, who’s raised $38,843.41.

So far, District 5 Commissioner Colten Wright faces no challenger.

The deadline to qualify is June 14, which happens to be Calkins’ birthday. It also happens to be former President Donald J. Trump’s birthday.

The day after qualifying, South Santa Rosa News, Milton Post, and Randy Meredith of Navarre Newspaper will be co-hosting an old-fashioned political debate at Ye Olde Brothers in Holley.

South Santa Rosa News recently partnered with Milton Post. We’ve started sharing some of our news stories on the platform. We will also broadcast live shows simultaneously via both platforms.