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Nassau County judge, other races

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Sheriff Bill Leeper, Clerk of Court John Crawford, Property Appraiser John Hickox and Tax Collector John Drew are unopposed for reelection. Superintendent of Schools Kathy Burns won re-election in the August primary.

So the only countywide race on the ballot in November is for supervisor of elections, an office being vacated by Vicki Cannon.

Janet Adkins was elected in a three-way Republican primary for supervisor of elections, an office being vacated by Vicki Cannon.

In the general election, Nassau County voters will complete electing a new county judge, fill two seats on the Ocean Highway and Port Authority. One of the authority seats was decided in the August primary, but the other and the judicial race will appear on the general election ballot as no candidate won 50% or more of the vote.

Also on the ballot for Nassau County voters are races for the Soil and Water Conservation District, Fernandina Beach, Callahan and Hilliard commissions, referendums in Fernandina Beach and Hillard and a community development for those living in Amelia Concourse.

Because the Florida Bar restricts those running for judge from engaging in political activities and taking positions on issues, the candidates’ responses to our News4Jax questionnaire based on their understanding of that restriction.

  NASSAU COUNTY JUDGE, Group 1

Jenny Higginbotham Barrett

Party affiliation: Nonpartisan

Age: 43

Candidate’s family: Husband, Scott Barrett Max (7) and Isabella (6)

Occupation: attorney

Education: University of North Florida, B.A. Degree in Literature and J.D. from Florida State University College of Law

Political experience: None

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

  1. Qualification- almost 2 decades as an attorney
  2. Commitment to Uphold the Law
  3. Dedication to the community

Campaign website: jennybarrettforjudge.com

Campaign’s social media pages: Facebook


John Joseph Cascone

Party affiliation: non-partisan, not allowed to discuss party affiliation

Age: 65

Candidate’s family: Jennifer - wife, Grace Godfrey - daughter, Destin Godfrey - son-in-law

Occupation: Lawyer

Education: UNF - BA, South Texas College of Law JD

Political experience: None, ran for circuit judge 20 years ago

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

  • Experience in the areas of law addressed in the County Court.
  • Length of time practicing law.
  • The ability to be fair and impartial to all citizens and litigants appearing before the court.

How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot?

My experiences practicing law in Nassau County will provide me with the insight to handle all matters consistent with the existing law and understand the predicaments citizens find themselves in during the stressful times that require the involvement of the court.

What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office?

Having been fair to all who appear in court. Following and applying the law to the facts of each case and, most importantly, being a good steward of the public trust.

If elected how would you address the calls for racial justice?

As a judge you are charged with treating every one fairly and I have done so throughout my 31 years practicing in Nassau County and every day of my life because it was the way we were raised. There is no justice for anyone if there isn't justice for everyone so, as a judge, I would cast a balance between being as fair as is possible and applying the law as written.

What challenges does COVID-19 present to the office you are seeking?

The pandemic issues have created a separation of the citizens from the courts. This helps create a perspective that the courts aren't accessible, especially when everything is done on camera and remotely. I believe people need to be able to experience the courts personally to be assured they received the best outcome they could expect. With the remoteness we are going through we don't have that right now.

Campaign website: CasconeforJudge.com

Campaign’s social media pages: Facebook

  Fernandina Beach races

Nonpartisan races; elected at large; four-year terms

Fernandina Beach City Commission - Seat 1

  • Bradley M. Bean
  • Marian Phillips

Fernandina Beach City Commission - Seat 2

  • Alexandra Lajoux
  • Genece Minshew
  • David Sturges

Fernandina Beach City Commission - Seat 3

  • Wendall K. McGahee
  • Chip Ross

Straw ballot for mayor of Fernandina Beach

  • Len Kreger
  • Mike Lednovich

Fernandina ballot question: Conservation lands and recreation facilities

  • Ballot language: “Should the Fernandina Beach City Charter be amended to prohibit the sale or lease of city-owned conservation lands and restrict the sale or lease of City-owned recreation facilities by requiring unanimous vote of the City Commission and approval at a referendum by at least 70% of the electors of the City?”
  Callahan races

Callahan Town Council members

Vote for up to three:

  • Ken Bass
  • Jacquelyn Fleming
  • Shirley Graham
  • David Mellecker

Referendum No. 1: Choosing the mayor from among the members of the Town Council

  • Ballot language: “Should the Charter of the Town of Callahan be amended to make mayor an office held by a member of the Town Council who is chosen by the Town Council, with the chief administrative duties that the mayor used to perform being transferred to a town manager employed by the town, along with the former mayor’s veto power over ordinances being eliminated, with all changes happening when the current mayor’s term ends?”

Referendum No. 1 question 2: Making the town clerk an employee instead of an elected official

  • Ballot language: “Should the Charter of the Town of Callahan be amended to make the Town Clerk an employee of the Town instead of an elected official, with the change happening when the current clerk’s term ends?”
  Hillard race

Town Council members

Vote for up to three:

  • James King
  • Lee Pickett
  • Kenny Sims
  • Jared Wollitz
  Ocean Highway and Port Authority, District 1
  • Miriam Rose Hill
  • Robert (Bob) Sturgess
  Community Development Districts

Amelia Concourse Community Development District - Seat 1

  1. Elizabeth Dominguez
  2. Jeffry A. Snow