Two more educators with the Franklin County Schools have signaled they plan to run for leadership positions within the district, as the list of candidates for county offices continues to grow.
In the race for superintendent, Franklin County Schools Principal Michael Sneed has filed his intent to seek the Democratic nomination, in the August primary.
If he ends up qualifying during the process that takes the week of June 8 through 12, as it stands now, Sneed would face incumbent superintendent Traci Yoder in the Democratic primary, and the winner of that contest would square off against Republican Steve Lanier in the November general elections.
In District 1, Franklin County Schools teacher Tara Klink, president of the teachers union, has filed her intent to seek the non-partisan school board seat now occupied by George Thompson. If she qualifies, as it stands now she would be up against Melonie Inzetta, who oversees The Nest after-school program for the district.
“I’m not going to run, I’m through,” said Thompson. “I’m 60 years old, and I have 16 years in, four terms.”
An employee with the postal service, he said he has 104 Mondays left on the job, two years, before he retires. After that, “I’m going to enjoy my two grand-young ‘uns, my wife and my family,” he said.
Also filing his intent to seek a school board seat, in District 5, is Jared Mock, who works for the city of Carrabelle. If he qualifies, he would be vying to replace incumbent Carl Whaley, who has already declared his intent to seek the Democratic nomination for sheriff, and challenge incumbent Republican A.J. Smith.
While she had not formally filed the paperwork as of Monday, Supervisor of Elections Heather Riley said Madeline Nevarez plans to seek the Republican nomination for county commissioner for District 5, which stretches between Eastpoint and Carrabelle. The incumbent, William Massey, a Democrat, has not yet filed his intent to seek reelection,
In District 1, which encompasses Eastpoint and St. George Island, Republican county commissioner Ricky Jones has declared plans to seek reelection. In District 3, much of the city of Apalachicola, Democratic incumbent Noah Lockley has not yet filed his intent to seek reelection.
In the non-partisan school board race in District 3, Fonda Davis Sr. has filed his intent to seek reelection.
In the countywide races, Erin Griffith and Michele Maxwell have each filed to run, without party affiliation, in their bid to replace retiring Clerk of Courts Marcia Johnson, so they will go straight to the November ballot.
Incumbent property appraiser Democrat Rhonda Skipper has filed her intent, but not yet drawn opposition. The same is true of both incumbent tax collector Republican Rick Watson, as well as Riley, who is not affiliated with any party in her role as supervisor of elections.
If they follow through to qualify in June for the August 18 primary, or for the Nov. 3 general election, candidates will likely do so by securing petitions by the May 11 deadline. District offices require the signatures of 16 registered voters, while countywide offices require 78.
On Thursday, Superintendent Traci Yoder plans to ask the county commission to enable the district to conduct a mail-in ballot in which voters will be asked to decide whether to renew a four-year half-mill referendum that raises about $1 million annually in operating funds.
Riley said it would not be possible to hold the election, and that an early June date “would be really tight.
“If they asked my opinion, I would say the third or fourth week of June” would be the earliest, Riley said.
If the referendum moves forward, and a date is selected, then voters who have not yet registered would have to do so no later than 29 days before the mail-in ballot, if they wished to take part.
In a news release that went out this week, Riley asked residents to consider voting by mail for the 2020 elections.
“While it is an unprecedented time for us all, our office remains humbled by the support of our poll workers and community during the 2020 Presidential Preference Primary (March 17),” she wrote. “Looking ahead at the next two countywide elections, the primary election in August and the general election in November, our office is urging Franklin County voters to better prepare by requesting a Vote by Mail ballot.
“Vote by Mail allows voters to cast their ballot from the safety and comfort of their home. Voters can easily request a mail ballot online at www.votefranklin.com, by calling 653-9520 or emailing your request,” she wrote.
Riley said the office remains closed to the public until further notice, with one staff member is in each day and all functions active remotely. “We are committed to ensuring that the level of service we provide does not falter during this crisis,” she said.
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