The slate of candidates for the upcoming primary and general elections is now set, with one election already decided.
Because he was unopposed in his bid to succeed the retiring Jimmy Gander as school board member for District 4, Stacy Kirvin, 52, of 142 Deer Patch Rd., Apalachicola will assume that office following the general election in November.
Kirvin spent a mere $16.50 in his bid to qualify last week for the office. He invested $15 in a voter registration list for the district, and $1.50, or 10 cents each, to have the 15 names on his petition certified for the non-partisan election.
The other race in District 4, for county commissioner, promises to be an exciting one, as incumbent Joseph “Smokey” Parrish, 52, 108 Long Rd. Apalachicola, is facing a challenge from Royce S. Rolstad III, 31, 119 Hicks Lane, Apalachicola.
The two are squaring off in the Aug. 26 Democratic primary, where winner takes all. Because there are no declared Republican candidates for the office, the primary will be a universal one, meaning members of either party, or those without party affiliation, or those affiliated with a small party, all are eligible to vote.
As of Monday, the total number of registered voters, 1,213, in this district comprised 899 Democrats, 211 Republicans, and 103 either from other parties or without affiliation.
Contested elections on the eastern end
Both the county commission and school board races are being contested on the eastern end of the county, in District 2 encompassing portions of Carrabelle, Lanark Village and Alligator Point.
County Commissioner Cheryl Sanders, 58, 4901 Jeff Sanders Road, Carrabelle, is not facing an opponent in the Democratic primary, so she goes directly to the Nov. 4 general election.
There, she will face the winner from the two Republican candidates, Mark Nobles, 57, 10-5 W Pine St., Lanark Village, and William Snyder, 55, 2332 Enabob Street, Lanark Village, who are vying to unseat her.
The Aug. 26 Republican primary in District 2 will be decided only by those who are registered with the GOP. Registration for the primary ends July 28.
Nobles and Snyder will be seeking to gain a majority of the district’s Republicans, who numbered 513 as of June 16. The district also contains 813 Democrats, 198 without party affiliation and 45 registered with small parties, but none of these will be eligible to vote in the GOP primary for county commissioner.
All these 1,569 voters, however, will have a say in which of the three declared candidates for the non-partisan school board seat in District 2 emerges as the victor.
At the primary, the voters will decide among incumbent David Hinton, 78, 112 Hinton Street, Carrabelle, challenger Wilburn 'Ray' Messer, 55, 166 Sanborn Road, Carrabelle; and challenger Pamela Marshall, 56, 1989 River Bend Plantation Road, Carrabelle.
If one of the three earns a majority of the votes cast, 50 percent plus one, then they will be declared the winner. Otherwise the top two candidates will then square off at the general election.
While there are no local candidate elections in the three other districts, there will be plenty to decide on a state level at both the primary and general elections, including a school referendum in November that will decide whether the superintendent will remain as an elected office, or will change in 2016 to a manner in which the head of the schools is appointed by the school board. A countywide majority vote is necessary to change the way that office is filled.
Registration in the other three districts, as of Monday, were as follows.
·District 1, including Eastpoint and St. George Island: 1051 Democrats, 542 Republicans and 172 other, for a total of 1,765 registered voters.
·District 3, including the Hill area north of U.S. 98, 959 Democrats, 144 Republicans, and 102 other, for a total of 1,205 registered voters.
·District 5, which includes portions of Carrabelle and Eastpoint, 939 Democrats, 324 Republicans and 171 other, for a total of 1,435 registered voters.
All told, there are 7,187 registered voters in the county, including 4,661 Democrats, 1,734 Republicans, 649 with no party affiliation and 143 others.
Early voting in the primary opens Aug. 11 and runs through Aug. 23.