Krista Keating-Joseph narrowly won the Republican primary for the District 4 seat on the St. Johns County Commission. No Democrat signed up to run in this district but a write-in candidate did qualify for the November ballot, which kept the August primary closed to only Republican voters.
News4Jax sent a questionnaire to each candidate on the ballot asking about their backgrounds and views on several issues. Scroll down to read Keating-Joseph’s responses in her own words.
Occupation: Award winning Author and Marketing Consultant
Your family: We are a Gold Star Family having lost our beloved son in Iraq fighting ISIS, my husband of 28 years helped raise our 5 children one living here and in High school, others: 2 Navy SEALs, Marine and daughter married to a Navy SEAL.
Education: BA of Radio Television with a Marketing Minor University of Arizona
Political experience: Served on the Citrus County Hospital Board, a Governor-Appointed position, in which the Senate confirmed me for a second term. I played a major role in the elimination of millions of dollars in taxes while providing better healthcare. More efficient, state-of-the-art, and affordable.
What do you see as the top three issues you’ll likely face while holding this office?
- Stop unbridled development and represent the people who live here NOW. My opponent, Commissioner Blocker, voted YES 71 out of 73 times to develop rural and other undeveloped land, his first three years in office. The result is less open space, 120 portable classrooms on order, backed-up traffic on over-capacity roads, and residents unable to park at the beach which is a major reason they move to our coastal county. My opponent approved a 5600-home development without asking for a single concession from the developer. In fact, he set a precedent for even greater density. At the rate we’re growing, our county will be unrecognizable in four years.
- Since I’m a fiscal conservative who rejects Commissioner Blocker’s proposed 15% sales tax increase, my second goal is to determine what our TRUE infrastructure deficits are, and then reduce those deficits without raising taxes. I don’t buy into the list of deficits provided by the current administration to justify raising our sales tax. I believe much of that is inflated and responding to developers’ demands. Going forward, developers must cover infrastructure costs of their developments. The last thing we need is to raise the sales tax on our hard-working families, especially as we face higher gas and food prices, and inflation.
- Improve our quality of life by making St. Johns County safer and preserving its beauty. That means putting our First Responders FIRST. They should not have to leave the county to get a pay raise. Another quality of life issue is the clear-cutting of trees. Commissioner Blocker said we need to address clear-cutting on January 25th, but has done nothing since; residents have been asking for six years for a stronger tree ordinance that protects this vital natural resource. Furthermore, we must preserve more green space for people to use - and not just wetlands that are unbuildable so that developers can get credit for “preserve” land.
How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot?
- Since I’m not funded by developers like my opponent is, I’m not beholden to them. That puts me in a better position to slow growth and protect more green space in our county. I’m also debt-free. My financial independence makes me better able to serve the interests of average residents. I will be fair and open to proposals from developers, but never beholden to them.
What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office?
- I hope to be remembered for accomplishing all three of my stated goals, and doing so with honesty, integrity and transparency. Life is short and I want to do as much as possible in my life for others.
Campaign website: ElectKrista.com
Campaign’s social media site(s): facebook.com/profile.php?id=100079486436952
Michael C. Lanza also qualified as a write-in candidate in the general election. Write-in candidates’ names do not appear on the ballot.