Randy Pridgeon, candidate for Gulf County Commission District 3. [ Provided by candidate ]
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Pridgeon seeks county commission seat

Port St. Joe resident Randy Pridgeon has announced his intent to run for the District 3 seat on the Gulf County Board of County Commissioners.

Pridgeon, 61, of 434 Windmark Way, would likely be facing the incumbent, Patrick Farrell. Both men are Republicans, and in the event both qualify in June to run, and no other candidates, either Democrats or without party affiliation, decide to run, then the election would be decided at the Aug. 20 primary, and would be open to all voters, regardless of party affiliation.

The following statement has been provided by the Pridgeon campaign:

I’m Randy Pridgeon, and I’m running to be your next Gulf County Commissioner for District 3. I’m challenging the incumbent because my past work experience and qualifications make me the best candidate. I want to make this job a full-time commitment to Gulf County. 

Change is inevitable, but Gulf County needs to focus on being Proactive instead of Reactive. This means Gulf County needs to have a one-, five- and 10-year plan that addresses growth, infrastructure, workforce, technology and healthcare. Both short-term and long-term planning are critical in navigating these changing times. I have over two decades of experience in leadership and administration for the Leon County School system and understand the complexities of managing planning, budgets, and personnel. 

When I retired at the end of 2017 my wife Lisa and I made the transition from part-time to full-time residents. When Hurricane Michael destroyed our family home, we experienced first-hand the loss and devastation felt by so many in Gulf County. We feel blessed that we have been able to return and start over, and it has been amazing to see the resilience of Gulf County and its ability to rebuild so quickly after such a loss.

I’ve always had a passion to give back to the local community. When the need arose for certified firefighters in Gulf County, my wife and I joined the volunteer fire department and started training. This past January we completed a yearlong training and received our Firefighter 1 certification. I’m currently vice president of the Gulf County Lions Club and an active member of the Port St. Joe First United Methodist Church where I serve as part of the men’s club, and on the church finance committee. I served on the Gulf County Economic Development Coalition Board, the CareerSource Workforce Board and the Northwest Florida Childhood Development Council.

From the time I was a little boy, I grew up hunting and fishing around the Wewahitchka area, and spent spring, summer, and fall on the beaches of Beacon Hill. Some of my daughters’ fondest memories are being at the beach, fishing and enjoying all Gulf County has to offer. We have five grandchildren that all come and spend as much time as they can at the beach. 

Gulf County is one of a kind. While growth is inevitable, I feel very strongly that my experience can be valuable to Gulf County as we balance the need to protect our amazing resources while responsibly managing our continued growth with cautious and efficient spending. 

My family has lived in Gulf County for four generations. My great-great grandfather and my grandfather both served as tax collector in Gulf County and my mother was a two-term Gulf County School Board member. I am looking forward to continuing the family tradition of serving and helping to make the best decisions for all the citizens of Gulf County. 

In the coming months, I look forward to engaging with the community and meeting as many people as I can, to hear your thoughts about what’s most important for Gulf County and our future planning.

Please contact me by email or phone to discuss your concerns, my email address
is RandyforGulf@gmail.com. My cell phone number is 850–766–7912. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Each candidate for elected office in Gulf County is provided with the opportunity to run one announcement of their campaign in The Star free of cost. These announcements are submitted by the candidates’ campaigns and must be submitted in advance of qualifying week, June 10 through 14.

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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