Richard J. Keen

Candidate for Columbia County Commissioner District 4

Age: 48

Family: Has been married to Mary Munch-Keen for 19 years. Parents are Sherod and Marcel Keen

Occupation: Self-Employed Builder

Education: Graduate of Columbia High School; Attended Florida Gateway College

Political Experience: No previous political offices held.

What do you see as the top three issues in this race?

As a focus of my campaign I will:

  • Support the Economic Development of Columbia County
    As I wish to encourage job growth that will bring higher paying jobs to our county, it is paramount that we continue to support development of Plum Creek's Intermodal Park, support the efforts of Columbia County's Economic Development Department, provide incentives for our local businesses to encourage addition of jobs, work collaboratively with the school system and local college to ensure our workforce is prepared and skilled for current and future jobs in our region.
  • Support the Youth of Columbia County
    I have been involved with youth sports for over 25 years and as a result, I see the need in providing and supporting appropriate programs and services to our youth including leadership programs, clubs/organizations, sports, recreation, and literacy services. Indeed, the youth of Columbia County are our future and we must support, nurture, and empower our youth to become our future leaders.
  • Work to protect our natural resources for future generations
    Columbia County is home to some of the most beautiful springs and natural resources. It is vital that we protect our resources so that future generations may utilize and enjoy. I wish to continue and support the efforts of our local non-profits in educating the public about water quality and conservation and protect our aquifer from those wishing to divert our water for their use.

    (Additional supplied copy: I believe strongly in servant leadership, as I wish to represent and be the voice for the constituents of District 4 and place decision-making back in the hands of the people. As we are all vested in this community, so am I. We all want a community that brings better paying jobs and skill sets. We all want a community that provides support for senior services, youth services, and emergency services. We all want a community that protects our natural resources for future generations. As your District 4 County Commissioner I will support the economic growth and programs that serve our community, but, FIRST and FOREMOST, I will LISTEN to my Constituents to determine the specific needs that we have in our community so that they may be better served.
    I am a lifelong resident of Columbia County and from an early age, had aspirations of serving my community so that I could make a difference. I am a self-employed builder and also serve as Lake City Middle School's Head Football Coach. I worked for Columbia County for over 18 years as a Field Appraiser, Code Enforcement Officer, and Building Inspector. I also serve as a Board Member of the Columbia Youth Football Association, and I'm a member of the Mason City Community Center and Friends of the Library. As a business owner, I am responsible for financial management, employee management, order procurement, job site safety, and ensuring all local and state regulations are met. These responsibilities, along with those I had during my tenure with Columbia County, have prepared me in better serving my community through public service. I will bring initiative, hard work, vision, compassion and dedication to the job every day. I am willing to do what needs to be done, including making difficult decisions to best support our community.)
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