Ashley Forehand, candidate for Gulf County tax collector [ Submitted by candidate ]
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Election 2024: Forehand seeks tax collector post

Wewahitchka resident Ashley Forehand has announced her intent to run for Gulf County tax collector.

Forehand, 44, of 221 Lister Drive, is seeking to succeed incumbent Shirley Jenkins, who has decided not to seek re-election. 

A Republican, Lewis would compete in the November general election if no other members of her party decide to run. 

The following statement has been provided by the Forehand campaign:

Hello neighbors, I am Ashley Lister Forehand, and I am announcing my candidacy for the office of Gulf County tax collector. For four generations, my family has lived in this area, and as a lifelong resident of Gulf County myself, I am committed to helping our little piece of paradise continue to prosper, while also maintaining the small town charm and caring atmosphere we all love. 

My husband Wayne, a towboat captain for Marathon Petroleum, and I are raising our two daughters here. Madison is finishing her first year at Troy State University, where she is working to earn her bachelor’s of science in nursing degree, and Avery is a sophomore at Wewahitchka High School, where she participates on the track and field team and the girls wrestling squad. 

During his 14 years as the Gulf County Clerk of Courts, my father, Benny Lister, taught me the value of public service, and my mother, Patsy Lister, who was a teacher and librarian at Wewahitchka Elementary School for almost three decades, cemented these lessons in my character. My family, my roots and my heart are based in Gulf County, and I am 100 percent dedicated to this wonderful place we all call home.

After graduating from Wewahitchka High School in 1998, I continued my education at Chipola Junior College. Upon earning my associate’s degree, I started a job at the Gulf County tax collector’s office where I worked for six-and-one-half years. When my daughters were young, I became a stay-at-home mom until they enrolled in school. At that time, I began as a substitute teacher in the Gulf County School system, and soon after, I was hired on full time as a paraprofessional.

In 2017, I became the administrative assistant to the principal at Wewahitchka High School. In my second year in the school office, I was invited to join the leadership team. My area of focus is customer service, and I strive diligently to initiate policies that ensure our school has an open, service-oriented environment. It is important to me that our students, parents and staff feel welcome as they enter our facility, and I will bring this same emphasis to my role as tax collector if elected.

Community is important to me and I have served in many capacities to help in our area. For two years, I was an officer in the Dixie Softball League. At Wewahitchka High, I coached softball as an assistant for three years. Currently, I am the cross-country coach and the Student Government Association sponsor at the school. Additionally, I am a volunteer bus driver for several sports teams, school organizations and field trips. 

As an active member of the Wewahitchka Woman’s Club, I work on many community service projects throughout the year. My family and I enjoy attending the Glad Tidings Assembly of God Church in Wewahitchka, and I often help with fundraising activities for community members in need.

The Gulf County Tax Collector is unique among the seven countywide elected constitutional officers, because almost every citizen in Gulf County comes in direct contact with the tax collector’s office. Whether it is to apply for or renew a driver’s license, to sell or buy any item with an official Florida title of ownership such as a car, truck, boat, trailer, etc., or to simply pay land taxes, the vast majority of Gulf County residents will interact regularly with the tax collector.

This provides a huge opportunity for the Gulf County Tax Collector to create an office atmosphere in which citizens can expect a welcoming environment and an efficient business transaction with the staff. I have the experience and the knowhow to make this a reality, and I have truly relished creating a customer oriented

experience in all my previous work positions. Please vote for and elect me, Ashley Lister Forehand, to be your tax collector, and I will give my all to make Gulf

County a great place to live for you and your family.

I am excited to visit with as many Gulf County residents as possible during this campaign, and I am very interested in hearing your ideas over the next few months. If you would like to discuss your concerns, please feel free to contact me at (850) 624-8600.

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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