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Who’s running for state, local offices this year?

Candidate qualifying for August, November elections closed June 12

Voters cast their ballots in Florida's March presidential primary.
Voters cast their ballots in Florida's March presidential primary. (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – We won’t get to vote for our representatives in the Florida Legislature, area courthouses and school districts don’t for two months, but we now have a complete for sure who is be running for statewide office as well as sheriffs, county commissioners and school boards. (Congressional matchups were announced in April.)

Candidate qualifying for state and local races across Florida closed at noon June 12. Scroll down to see a list of who is running in some of the races on the ballot in your district and county.

Florida Democratic Party Chair Terri Rizzo was pleased that her party is represented in almost all races, saying said more campaigns boost turnout.

“When local candidates run, it brings more votes. People run on local issues,” Rizzo said.

Early voting in the primary begins the week of Aug. 3 and primary election day is Aug. 18. Some non-partisan races like school board and judges could be settled then, but if no one gets more than 50% of the vote or it’s a partisan race and there’s an opponent in another party, the race goes to the Nov. 3 general election.

Especially because of the coronavirus pandemic, both Democrats and Republicans are encouraging people to vote by mail this year. You can request that ballot now by visiting your county supervisor of election’s website and expect it in the mail late next month.

Florida Senate, District 5 (Baker, Bradford Clay, Columbia, Union and other counties west to the Gulf Coast)

An open seat as Sen. Rob Bradley cannot run for re-election due to term limits.

  • Republicans Jennifer Bradley and Jason Holifield will compete in the August primary. The winner will face Democrat Melina Barratt in the general election in November.

Florida Senate District 7 (represents St. Johns, Flagler and part of Volusia county)

  • Democrat Heather Hunter will face incumbent Republican Travis Hudson on the November ballot. Write-in candidate Richard Dembinsky also qualified.

Florida House District 10 (Alachua, Baker and Columbia counties)

  • Democrat Rock Aboujaoude Jr. will face incumbent Republican Chuck Brannon in November.

Florida House District 11 (Duval and Nassau counties)

  • Incumbent Republican Cord Byrd will face Democratic challenger Joshua Hicks in November.

Florida House District 12 (Duval County)

  • Colin Ross McArthur is challenging incumbent Clay Yarborough in the Republican primary and will face the winner of the Democratic primary, either Emmanuel Blimie or Spyros “Speed” Chialtas, in November.

Florida House District 13 (Duval County)

  • Incumbent Tracie Davis is being challenged by fellow Democrat Cynthia Smith. As there is no Republican or other qualified candidate in the race, this primary race will be open to all voters.

Florida House District 14 (Duval County)

  • Incumbent Kimberly Daniels is being challenged by fellow Democrat Angie NIxon. Write-in candidate Nancy Lynn Kapetanovic qualified for the November ballot, so the August primary vote will only appear on Democratic ballots.

Florida House District 15 (Duval County)

  • Jay McGovern and Tammyette Thomas will face off in the Democratic primary. The winner will face incumbent Republican Wyman Duggan in November.

Florida House District 16 (Duval County)

  • Republican incumbent Jason Fischer is being challenged by Democrat Ben Marcus in the November general election.

Florida House District 17 (St. Johns County)

  • Democrat Dave Rogers is challenging Republican incumbent Cyndi Stevenson in November.

Florida House District 18 (Clay County)

  • Democrat Leroy Anthony Edwards, Republican Sam Garrison and Libertarian Ken Willey have qualified for the election. There is no incumbent in this race that will appear only on the general election ballot.

Florida House District 19 (Bradford, Clay, Putnam and Union counties)

  • Democrat Kimberly Dugger is challenging incumbent Republican Bobby Payne in November.

Florida House District 20 (Alachua County)

  • Democrats Yvonne Hayes Hinson and Rodney Long will face off in the primary. No Republican qualified in the race so this will be an open primary.

Florida House District 21 (Alachua County)

  • Republican incumbent Chuck Clemons is being challenged in Democrat Kayser Enneking in November.

Florida House District 24 (Flagler and St. Johns counties)

  • Democrat Adam Morley is challenging Republican Paul Renner in the general election.

Judicial districts

3rd Judicial Circuit (includes Columbia County and six others in North Central Florida)

  • State Attorney: John Durrett and Tina Seifert are running for this open position. Both are Republicans.
  • Public Defender Cliff Wilson Jr. and three circuit judges are running unopposed.

4th Judicial Circuit (includes Clay, Duval and Nassau counties)

  • There is no opponent for State Attorney Melissa Nelson, Public Defender Charlie Coffer or 11 circuit judges.

7th Judicial Circuit (includes Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns and Volusia counties)

  • State Attorney: Incumbent R.J. Larizza (Republican) is being challenged by Don Dempsey (NPA).
  • Public Defender: George Burden, Anne Marie Gennusa and Matt Metz are running for this open position. All three are Republicans.
  • Circuit Judges: Three of 13 circuit judges are facing challengers. Anna Handy is challenging incumbent Mike Orfinger for Group 6. In Group 14, Joan Anthony and Dan Hilbert are running for an open seat on the bench In Group 27, incumbent Alicia Washington is being challenged by Bryan Robert Rendzio.

Duval County races

Because of consolidation, most Duval County offices are considered municipal and were elected last year. But there are several local offices are on the ballot.

Duval Clerk of the Circuit Court: Incumbent Ronnie Fussell is term-limited, so this is an open seat. There are three candidates in the Republican primary: Leon Jackson, Jody Phillips, and Scott Wilson. The winner of the primary will face Democrat Jimmy Midyette in November.

Jacksonville City Council District 4: As councilman Scott Wilson is running for Clerk of Court, he will resign his council seat requiring a special election. Like with other City Council unitary elections, all candidates appear together on the Aug. 18 first election ballot for all voters in the district: Republican Kevin Carrico, Democrat Nicole Hamm, and Republican Don Redman. If no candidate receives 50% of the votes, the top two will face off in the general election in November.

Additionally, there are four school board races on the ballot:

  • District 1: Kelly Coker, Kory Von Leue and Lew A. Welge
  • District 3: Robert “Bob” Abene, Christopher P. Guerrieri, James C. Jacobs, Cindy Pearson
  • District 5: Warren Jones (incumbent), Brenda Ann Jordan
  • District 7: Lori Hershey (incumbent), Matt Schellenberg, John Turner

St. Johns County races

St. Johns County Sheriff: David Shoar is retiring after five terms, leaving three candidates for the open position:

  • Rob Hardwick and Chris Strickland are Republicans and will compete in the primary. Scott C. Boutwell qualified as a write-in for the race.

St. Johns County’s clerk of court, tax collector, property appraiser and supervisor of elections are unopposed for reelection this year.

St. Johns County Commission

  • District 1: Incumbent Republican Jimmy Johns and faces a primary challenge from Christian Whitehurst. The winner will face Democrat Joe McAnarney in November.
  • District 5: Republican incumbent Henry Dean will face no party affiliation candidate Merrill Paul Roland in November.

St. Johns County School Board

  • District 2: Nick Graham faces Anthony Coleman in this nonpartisan race.

St. Augustine and St. Augustine Beach commission seats and St. Johns County authorities will also have races on the ballot this year. Those races along with candidates for Airport Authority, Mosquito Control District, Soil and Water Conservation seats will be detailed in the News4Jax Voter’s Guide to be published in July.

Clay County races

Clay County Sheriff: The is not an open seat but the opponent has drawn six opponents:

  • Ben Carroll, Michelle Cook, incumbent Darryl Daniels, Harold Rutledge, Mike Taylor and Catherine D. Webb are all Republicans. Francis Bourrie is a write-in qualified for the race.

Clay County Superintendent of Schools: There are three Republicans and a write-in candidate competing for the office vacated by Addison Davis.

  • David S. Broskie, Charlie Van Zant and Ann Wiggins are running in the Republican Primary, which will be closed because Tyler Grover qualified as a write-in candidate.

Clay County Clerk of Court: David Coughlin is challenging incumbent Tara Green in the Republican Primary. There is no Democratic opponent, so this will be an open primary.

Clay County Tax Collector: Republicans Diane Hutchings and Ronnie Robinson are competing in the primary. Tom Platt qualified as a write-in candidate, keeping the primary limited to Republican voters.

Clay County Commission:

Clay County School Board:

  • District 2: Incumbent Carol Studdard is being challenged by Beth Clark and Aaron Knowles
  • District 4: Mary Bolla vs. Rodney Herring for this open seat

Putnam County Sheriff races

  • H.D. “Gator” Deloach (incumbent), a Republican, faces Edison Edison, who is running without party affiliation.

Candidates for other Putnam County offices will be detailed in our full Voter’s Guide to be published in July.

Flagler County Sheriff races

  • Democrat Larry Jones is challenging incumbent Republican Sheriff Rick Staly

Candidates for Flagler County School Board and County Commission will be added to this list soon.

Bradford County Sheriff

  • Glen Gnann is challenging incumbent Sheriff Gordon Smith. Both are Republicans.

Candidates for other Bradford County offices will be detailed in our full Voter’s Guide to be published in July.

Nassau County races

Sheriff Bill Leeper, Clerk of Court John Crawford, Property Appraiser John Hickox and Tax Collector John Drew are unopposed for reelection.

Supervisor of Elections: Janet H. Adkins, Stan Bethea and Justin M. Taylor are running for the office being vacated by Vicki Cannon. All three are Republicans.

Nassau County Commission:

  • District 1: Incumbent Danny Leeper is opposed by John Martin. Both are Republicans.
  • District 3: Republicans John Grey and Brent Lemond are running for this open seat.
  • District 5: Republicans Klint Farmer, Charlie Gressman and Anthony Stamps are running for this open seat.

Nassau County School Board:

  • District 4: Incumbent Russell Johnson is being challenged by Cindy Grooms in this non-partisan race.

Candidates for Nassau County Ocean, Highway and Port Authority and other elected offices will be detailed in our complete Voter’s Guide to be published in July.

Columbia County races

Columbia County Sheriff Mike Hunter is unopposed. Candidates for other Columbia County offices will be detailed in our full Voter’s Guide to be published in July.

Alachua County Sheriff races

  • Incumbent Sheriff Sadie Darnell is being challenged by Clovis Watson Jr., both are Democrats. Robert Walter Brinkman qualified as a write-in.

Candidates for other Alachua County offices will be detailed in our full Voter’s Guide to be published in July.


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