County commission race heats up in District 2

As Gulf County’s qualifying by petition period draws to a close, four county residents have filed letters of intent to run for the District 2 county commission office.

The seat represents areas between Wewahitchka and Beacon Hill. Its commissioner is elected to a four-year term.

The office is currently held by Ward McDaniel, who has filed a letter of intent to run for reelection with the Gulf County supervisor of elections’ office.

McDaniel is joined by Michael Riley, Tom Semmes and Billy Traylor, who have also filed letters with the supervisor.

McDaniel, Semmes and Traylor will square off in a primary election on August 23, along with any other Republican candidates who qualify during the upcoming qualification period.

The candidate who receives the largest number of votes in the primary election will move on to the general election.

Riley is currently the only Democrat running for the seat. If another Democrat qualifies during the upcoming qualification period, a primary election will be held on August 23, the same date as the Republican primary. 

If he receives no challenger from the Democratic Party, Riley’s name will be placed on the November ballot without a primary election.

The official qualification period for the 2022 election will be from June 13 to 17.

Candidates who have not qualified by petition must pay all associated fees and file all necessary forms by noon of the last day of qualifying in order for their names to appear on the ballot. 

After this period, no other candidates will be allowed to run for the District 2 office or any other county office.

Voters in 2022 will face a changed election landscape, after the Florida Legislature passed Senate Bill 90 in 2021.

Voters must provide their date of birth and their Florida driver’s license number or Florida ID card number, or last four digits of their Social Security number when making an address change by phone or electronically. The same information must be provided when voters submit a Florida Voter Registration Application.

A voter must have a request on file to receive a vote-by-mail ballot. One request will cover all elections through the end of the calendar year, or the next scheduled general election. Existing requests on file are valid through the end of 2022.

In the event an immediate family member or legal guardian requests a vote-by-mail ballot on a voter’s behalf, he or she must provide the requestor’s relationship to the voter, as well as the requestor’s name, address, date of birth, driver’s license number or four numbers of their Social Security number.

Sandy Quinn, the County Commission’s chairman, is currently running unopposed for his District 4 seat, for which he is also up for reelection in november.

At this time, all three school board members up for reelection, Ruby Knox, Denny McGlon, and Brooke Wooten, are running unopposed.

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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