Candidate signs have been going up like wildfire here, there and everywhere – something code enforcement won’t be happy about since so many enthusiastic campaign staffers forget to take them down after the elections are over.
There were a number of late-minute surprises last week at the Santa Rosa County Elections office in what has amounted to a robust chess board of players with a desire to move up or into county, state and U.S. congressional office positions.
Two offices saw new faces before Friday at noon, the final day of to qualify. Caleb Lee Boudreau of Pace threw his hat in the ring as a write-in candidate for the District 1 county commissioner seat where realtors Mark Cotton and Sam Parker were already battling. They are vying for the seat Jayer Williamson must vacate in order for him to run for house seat because of the resign-to-run statute. Williamson left his seat in his pursuit of the Florida House District 3 slot and is being challenged by Johnathan Huston Walters of Navarre. Aubrey Penton of Milton entered the race for the District 3 county commissioner seat as No Party Affiliation against incumbent Don Salter and Marvin Fowler Sr., both of Pace. Chuck Miller of Pace entered the sheriff’s race two weeks ago as a write-in candidate.
The rules for write-in candidates are very different, according to Supervisor of Elections Tappie Villane.
Write-in candidates do not pay a qualifying fee or collect petitions. If they campaign, they must open a bank account. Write-in candidates must file campaign reports. They do not have their name listed on the ballot or posted at the Early Voting site or the Polling Place on Election Day.
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