Tuesday’s election to determine District 2 Republican candidate

Several key races will be on the ballot on Primary Election Day, Tuesday, August 23, including the Republican primary for the Gulf County District 2 County Commissioner seat, the only contested Gulf County election this election cycle.

The Gulf County commission race in District 2, often a quiet affair, is far from it this year.

That’s because the Republican primary has seen a vigorous contest between three experienced politicians.

The election pits 12-year incumbent commissioner Ward McDaniel against Tom Semmes, who served as a communications electronic officer for White House  during the Ronald Reagun and George H. W. Bush administrations, and Billy Traylor, a former Gulf County parks director.

The winner of the race, which will be decided by registered Republican voters in District 2, will face Democratic Challenger Michael Riley on the General Election ballot in November. 

Though only Republican voters in District 2 can vote in the county commission race on Tuesday, several other elections will appear on the ballot.

Republicans will also be able to vote in the primary for the state’s commissioner of Agriculture. Democrats will vote in primaries for the state’s governor, senator, attorney general and commissioner of agriculture.

Gulf County Supervisor of Elections John Hanlon said turnout for early voting, which ended August 20, was low.

“It’s a low turnout, but that’s a little bit artificially deflated because I have about 2,000 no party affiliation voters who have nothing to vote on,” he said on Monday. “We’re sitting at about 11.8 percent voter turnout right now.”

Hanlon said that voters should report to their normal voting precinct for the primary election.

“(Voters) are a little out of the habit of doing that because we had the voting centers for so long because of the hurricane,” he said. “But we’re back to full operation. All ten precincts will be open.”


How to vote


Voters can look up which precinct they belong to on the supervisor of elections’ website. 

Those who are not yet registered to vote will not be able to vote in Tuesday’s election, though they may still register to vote in time for the November election.

In order to vote at any precinct, voters must produce one of the following current and valid picture identifications:

  • Florida Driver’s License
  • Florida ID card issued by the Dept. of Highway safety & Motor Vehicles
  • United States Passport
  • Debit or Credit Card
  • Military Identification
  • Student Identification
  • Retirement Center Identification
  • Neighborhood Association Identification
  • Public Assistance Identification

If the picture identification does not contain a signature, an additional identification with a signature will be required.  It is not mandatory that you bring your Voter’s Information Card with you to vote.  This card is intended only to inform you that you are a registered voter, what district races you are able to vote on, what precinct you are registered in and the location of your polling place.


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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