With petitions due back in the Supervisor of Elections Ida Elliott’s office by May 19, a handful of candidates have signaled their intent to run on the Nov. 4 elections.
The county commission and school board seats are up for grabs in District 2, the easternmost district encompassing from the portions of Carrabelle, Lanark Village and Alligator Point, and in District 4, which is the westernmost district, mainly the historic district of Apalachicola.
Both incumbents in District 2 - County Commissioner Cheryl Sanders and School Board Member David Hinton - have signaled their intent to recapture their seats, a process that enables them to fundraise.
In District 4, neither incumbent – County Commissioner Smokey Parish and School Board Member Jimmy Gander – has formally indicated they plan to seek re-election, although there is plenty of time for them enter the race.
The official qualifying period isn’t until next month, when it begins at noon, June 16 and runs to noon, June 20.
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 Wilburn “Ray” Messer, of P.O. Box 482 in 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.
No candidates have surfaced in the District 4 county commission race, as of press time.
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.