Qualifying for candidates ended Friday setting up a number of contests; several candidates draw no opposition

Clerk of Courts Greg James, Tax Collector Lisa Craze and Supervisor or Elections Joe Morgan are all returning to office without opposition.


Candidate qualifying ended last Friday at noon, and for the first time in several election cycles there were no last-minute candidates jumping into local races.

A number of constitutional officers will be returned to office without opposition: Clerk of Courts Greg James, Supervisor of Elections Joe Morgan, and Tax Collector Lisa Craze.
Additionally, County Commissioner Ralph Thomas was returned to office without an opponent, and Josh Lawhon had no opposition for the county commission seat 5 held by Chuck Hess, who is retiring.
Local races that are contested include:

  • Sheriff, with incumbent Jared Miller being challenged by Army Reyes;
  • Property Appraiser, with incumbent Ed Brimner being challenged by former Property Appraiser Donnie Sparkman;
  • County commission seat 3 will see incumbent Mike Kemp challenged by Valerie Russell, a repeat of the election four years ago;
  • Three candidates are vying for Superintendent of Schools to replace Bobby Pearce, who is retiring: Rick Myhre, Matt Payne and Ricky Strickland.
  • On school board, Angie Nichols and June Davis are vying for the seat held by Melisa Taylor, who is retiring;
  • and incumbent school board member Josh Brown is being challenged by Camden Smit.
    In other races, state Sen. Corey Simon, R-Tallahassee, whose district includes Wakulla, qualified for re-election, and drew Democratic challengers Daryl Parks, Kimblin Nesmith, and Sheria Griffin.
    And incumbent state Rep. Jason Shoaf, R-St. Joe, is being challenged by Democrat Kenneth Beasley.
    Other multi-county elected officials, including State Attorney Jack Campbell and Public Defender Jessica Yeary, who both serve in the Second Judicial Circuit which includes Wakulla, did not draw opponents and will return to office without facing election.


Four of the five seats on the St. Marks City Commission are up: the current incumbents, city commissioners Sharon Rudd, Tim Lawrence, and John Gunter, as well as Mayor Steve Remke, have qualified to run for re-election.
City Commissioner Paula Bell is the only one St. Marks city commissioner who isn’t up for election.
July 15th is the qualifying deadline for City of Sopchoppy commissioners, with Mayor Glenn Rudd, Vice Mayor Roger McKenzie, and Commissioner Michele Harden up for re-election.

Legion Taylor contributed to this report.

Local candidate forums set

The Wakulla Sun will hold candidate forums on Tuesday, July 9, at the public library beginning at 6 p.m. for candidates for sheriff, property appraiser and county commission.
On Tuesday, July 16, another forum will be held at the library beginning at 6 p.m. for candidates for superintendent of schools and the school board.
Submit your questions for candidates to editor@thewakullasun.com.
The Sun also welcomes Letters to the Editor endorsing candidates, but will not run negative letters.