Unless more candidates step forward next month with a willingness to pay the fee, the slate of candidates in the primary and general elections is pretty much set.
The deadline to submit petitions was noon Monday. If candidates want to jump in the race now, their only option to do so is by paying a fee - $996 for school board offices and $1,558 for county commission seats – during the official qualifying period from noon, June 16 to noon, June 20.
The county commission and school board seats are up for grabs in District 2, the easternmost district encompassing from portions of Carrabelle, Lanark Village and Alligator Point, and in District 4, the westernmost district, mainly the historic district of Apalachicola.
Both incumbents in District 2 - County Commissioner Cheryl Sanders and School Board Member David Hinton – gathered the required dozen signatures to run to recapture their seats.
In District 4, where 16 signatures were required, incumbent County Commissioner Smokey Parish has drawn an opponent in the Aug. 26 Democratic primary.
School Board Member Jimmy Gander has announced he will not seek re-election, and just one candidate has stepped forward to try to claim the seat in the non-partisan election.
Sanders, of P.O. Box 641 in Carrabelle, is the lone Democrat to file a letter of intent for the District 2 county commission seat. Two Republicans have filed, and if they qualify, will square off in the Aug. 26 primary. They are Mark Nobles, of 10-5 West Pine St. in Lanark Village, and William Snyder, of 2332 Enabob Street, in Carrabelle.
Hinton, of 112 Hinton St. in Carrabelle, plans to run for re-election in the non-partisan race for District 2 school board member. He is being challenged by Pam Marshall, P.O. Box 839, Carrabelle, and Wilburn “Ray” Messer, P.O. Box 482, Carrabelle. In his candidate filing, Hinton has loaned his campaign $1,000 with which to fund his campaign.
In the District 4 school board race, Stacy Kirvin, of 142 Deer Patch Rd. in Apalachicola, has filed his letter of intent and has listed his own $100 contribution to open his campaign account.
Parrish, of 104 Long Road, Apalachicola, has filed to seek reelection to the District 4 county commissioner job, with a challenge coming from Royce S. Rolstad III, 119 Hicks Lane, Apalachicola.
In addition to a list of statewide ballot measures, Franklin County voters will have before them a choice for congressman, between incumbent Republican Steve Southerland and Democratic challenger Gwen Graham. Luther Lee is also running as a write-in candidate, without party affiliation.
In the race for state representative in District 7, which encompasses all of Franklin County, incumbent Republican Halsey Beshears has signaled his desire to seek reelection, with no challengers having as yet surfaced.
Seven incumbent circuit court judges have all filed for reelection. They include Charles Dodson, Kevin J. Carroll, Frank E. Sheffield, John C. Cooper, Martin A. Fitzpatrick, Charles A. Francis, and Angela C. Dempsey.
Although several Democrats and Republicans are running in the primary, Gov. Rick Scott and Democratic challenger Charlie Crist are expected to breeze through the primary and square off in November.
Two Democrats, George H. Sheldon and Perry E. Thurston, are vying in the primary for the right to challenge incumbent Republican attorney general Pam Bondi.
Democrat William Rankin is expected to challenge Republican Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater in the general election, and Democrat Thaddeus “Thad” Hamilton is running to unseat Republican Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam.
In order to vote in the primary, voters must be registered by July 28. To vote in the Nov. 4 general election, all registrations must be in by Oct. 6. Early voting for the primary runs from Aug. 11 to 23, and for the general election, from Oct. 20 to Nov. 1.