Wilmer Deason withdrew last week from the race for District 3 county commissioner, paving the way for incumbent Noah Lockley to secure a third term.


Wilmer Deason withdrew last week from the race for District 3 county commissioner, paving the way for incumbent Noah Lockley to secure a third term.



In an Aug. 16 letter to Supervisor of Elections Ida Elliott, Deason wrote that “unforeseen personal responsibilities and poor health” forced him to leave the race.



Deason, 59, 271 25th Ave. had qualified in June to run as Republican in the Nov. 6 general election. Because a Republican was on the ballot, the Democratic primary last week between Lockley and challenger Valentina Webb went from a universal race, open to members of all political parties, to a closed one, open only to Democrats.



Deason had raised $4,550 for his campaign, $500 from the county’s Republican Executive Committee and the rest funded entirely from a loan by the candidate to his campaign.



Among Deason’s expenditures had been the cost of the $1,502 filing fee, as well as $2,050 spent to purchase a golf cart for use in campaigning.



Kristy Branch Banks, chairman of the GOP’s county committee, said last week she was talking with officials of the Republican Party of Florida regarding whether Deason would be obligated to return the county committee’s contribution.



“I have not seen his report filings and do not know if he expended the funds during his campaign or not,” she said.



In his candidate statement, Deason promised to put the his commissioner salary, minus expenses, into a special fund that he, and “three other reputable Franklin County citizens,” would direct for use for the district’s benefit, estimating that the move would invest in the district at least $95,000 over his first term.



“I also promise to defend the Constitution of the United States, God’s teachings and will strive for countywide voting for all county commissioners,” he wrote.



Elliott said Deason’s withdrawal means his name will not appear on the ballot, and Lockley, 61, who downed challenger Valentina Webb, 48, last week, will be declared the winner.