David Rich
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Rich seeks another term as commissioner

David Rich has announced plans to seek another four-year term as the District 1 commissioner in Gulf County.

Rich, 52, of 2124 Lake Grove Road, Wewahitchka, is running as a Republican. As it stands now, another Republican, Christopher “Spike” McLemore, has also filed a letter of intent to seek the commission seat. 

In the event no Democrats, or individuals without party affiliation, qualify to run, then the election will be decided at the Aug. 20 primary, at which time all voters within the district, regardless of party affiliation, will be able to vote for District 1 county commissioner.

The following statement was submitted by the David Rich campaign

Good day Gulf County, Florida. My name is David C. Rich, your District 1 county commissioner. I am a lifelong resident of Gulf County, a graduate of Wewahitchka High School as well The Florida State University, with a bachelor of science degree in business administration. I am a third-generation grocer at David Rich’s, Inc. 

I was appointed in 2017 by then-Republican Governor Rick Scott for a one-year term. I ran successfully in 2018, serving a two-year term. I ran unopposed in 2020 and am currently representing and serving the fine citizens of Gulf County. It has been an honor to serve and represent Gulf County since 2017. I took the oath of office to uphold the constitution of the great state of Florida and the United States of America and I have done so with honor and pride. 

I am very pleased with the progress and accomplishments of our county since the devastation of Hurricane Michael. We have come a long way as individuals, families and communities with rebuilding our county. Gulf County is still in the rebuilding process as we have many funded projects in the planning, engineering and construction process. We have over $120 million in projects currently, not counting what has already been completed. For example: new water plant, 15-plus miles of water line, road paving Hwy 71, paving Court Avenue, widening and paving of CR 381, Lake Grove Road, Byrd Parker Drive, finish paving the Iola Road to Calhoun County line, beach renourishment, Gaskin Park remodel including new larger pavilion, expanded Dalkeith fire department, new rifle and pistol range, an airport and sewer plant. 

As your commissioner, I am responsible to you, the voter, for taking care of day-to-day issues, your calls, visits, meetings, requests and delivering results. I have answered your calls, voice mail, met in person, had the meetings and delivered the results. Gulf County’s population is growing, as we are addressing it in several ways. One is by adding a new ambulance at each end of the county and two new fire trucks at the north end. We are aiming to improve our fire rating to lower the cost of fire insurance to save you money. I want to continue to improve our equipment, training and facilities for all of our employees and first responders. For example, I identified the first site for our workforce housing pilot project. It will host 11 single family homes that will be affordable for the working family by taking the land cost out of the price of the home. The property will be put into a land trust and held in perpetuity. We identified one issue, looked for a resolution, put our heads together and shared ideas of how to make it work within the rules. I am excited to see it break ground soon. 

Commissioner Rich has helped cut taxes three years in a row (working on the fourth) by being fiscally conservative with the taxpayer’s money. He stands for your property rights as well as public access to public lands via boat landings and parks. I helped Gulf County acquire two landings/parks: Willis and Odena and purchasing Howard Creek lower landing and Lister’s Landing parking area (currently under contract). As an avid outdoorsman, I understand the importance of public access from the river to the Gulf of Mexico and how fortunate we are to have, own and maintain it. 

As a commissioner, I am looking for more new jobs and opportunities for our residents and future graduates. We are proud to have landed Eastern Shipbuilding Group Gulf County site, Skyborne air ship and drone company as well as many other small businesses. Gulf County has several mid-sized companies taking a serious hard look at some of our prime relocation sites ready for construction. Gulf County’s future is very bright, and I am looking forward to leading us into the future. Remember this, “if it is important to you, it is important to me.” You can reach me in person at Rich’s Supermarket and Fuel Center in Wewahitchka, by county cell phone 850-247-9411, or email commissioner1@gulfcounty-fl.gov 

I kindly ask for your vote and support. 

David C. Rich 

Commissioner 1

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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