Ralph Thomas


Wakulla County Commissioner Ralph Thomas has officially filed for re-election, pledging to continue his dedicated service to the community.

With a proven track record of achievements since November 2012, Commissioner Thomas is committed to continue building a prosperous future for Wakulla County.
Commissioner Ralph Thomas is a committed public servant, focusing on the needs and safety of the residents of Wakulla County. Since taking office in November 2012, he has tirelessly worked to enhance the quality of life in the county through various initiatives and accomplishments. Some of his notable achievements include:

  1. Protected Groundwater and Natural Resources: Commissioner Thomas has prioritized the protection of Wakulla County’s groundwater and natural resources. The County successfully achieved Advanced Wastewater Treatment standards on the County’s Wastewater Treatment Plant, a feat unmatched in Florida’s rural counties. By eliminating hundreds of septic tanks and connecting them to the county wastewater treatment plant, these efforts ensure the safe disposal of wastewater and greatly reduces the nitrogen that enters the aquifer. He was part of the purchase of a previously private County Golf Course and integrated it into a state-of-the-art Aquifer Recharge Facility, further enhancing the county’s ability to dispose of clean treated wastewater. He is committed to continue eliminating septic tanks and connecting private homes to public sewer, where feasible.
  2. Enhanced Public Safety: Commissioner Thomas understands the importance of public safety in ensuring the well-being of the community. In 2017, his efforts in the Florida Legislature helped secure a Legislative Appropriation to build a fully equipped and functional Fire and EMS Facility, providing the necessary resources for first responders to effectively respond to emergencies. This includes new fire trucks and ambulances, ensuring the safety and well-being of the residents of Wakulla County.
  3. Federal and State Advocacy: His advocacy with the County Lobbyists and Congressman Dunn, Representative Shoaf and Senator Simon secured $3 million in Federal funding and $3.24 million in State funding for the construction of a new Emergency Operations Center.
  4. Construction will soon begin for a new maintenance facility for Sheriff’s Department vehicles, further enhancing the county’s ability to handle emergency situations and support law enforcement operations.
  5. $4.6 million in State funding was secured from Governor DeSantis and the Legislature for a new County Library facility.
  6. Secured $11 million in Funding for a First Responder Communications System: Recognizing the crucial role of first responders in ensuring public safety, he spent several years lobbying the Florida Legislature to secure funding. On November 4, 2022 those efforts paid off when Wakulla County successfully obtained $11 million in funding from Triumph Gulf Coast. Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation that administers funds recovered for economic damages from the 2010 BP oil spill. This funding has enabled the installation of a state-of-the-art communications system for first responders, empowering them to effectively and efficiently respond to emergencies and protect the community.
  7. Kept businesses and the County open during Covid while encouraging citizens to be educated, safe and responsible while making their own decisions regarding their personal safety. Commissioner Thomas has played a pivotal role in keeping Wakulla County a desirable community to live and work in. His efforts have attracted new businesses to the area, creating job opportunities and contributing to the economic growth of the county. By fostering a business-friendly environment, Commissioner Thomas has helped create a vibrant and prosperous community for residents. He strives for a day when our children do not have to move elsewhere to obtain a career and sufficient income to support a family.
  8. Extracurricular Service:
    a. Commissioner Thomas served as President of the Florida Association of Counties, a prestigious position that takes three years to reach, one year in the position and a fifth year on the Executive Board as the Past President. During his term, he represented Wakulla County’s interests at the state level and worked collaboratively with other county commissioners to advocate for policies that benefit all counties in Florida with an emphasis of preserving home rule and fighting State preemptions and unfunded mandates.
    b. Chairman of the Small County Coalition: Commissioner Thomas demonstrated his leadership skills by serving as Chairman of the Small County Coalition for 2 1/2 years. In this role, he advocated for the unique needs and challenges faced by small counties and worked toward finding solutions that promote their growth and development and protection.
    c. Commissioner Thomas has served as Chairman of the Wakulla Tourist Development Council since 2012. Under his leadership, the council has successfully increased revenue from $85K annually in 2012 to $325K in the current budget year, promoted tourism and attracted visitors to Wakulla County, boosting the local economy and supporting businesses in the tourism sector.
    d. Chairman of the Value Adjustment Board for 10 years. In this role, he ensured fair and equitable property assessments, providing an essential service to the residents of Wakulla County.
    e. Since 2012, Commissioner Thomas has served as the BOCC Liaison to the Wakulla Chamber of Commerce. Through this role, he has fostered a strong partnership between the county government and the local business community, promoting economic growth and collaboration.
    f. Commissioner Thomas served as Trustee, Vice Chairman, and Chairman of the Florida Association of Counties Trust, the County’s Liability Insurance pool. In these roles, he worked diligently to ensure that the County’s liability risks were effectively managed, providing protection and financial security for the County and its residents.
    Prior to his local Public Service, Commissioner Ralph Thomas spent 12 years in the U.S. Navy where he served as a Sonar Technician and a Chief Electronics Technician. He has dedicated his life to public service while also maintaining full time employment as a Mortgage Loan Office for the past 25 years. By seeking re-election, he aims to continue his work in building a safe, clean, prosperous, and sustainable future for Wakulla County.