Local races starting to heat up

Filed under DAYTONA BEACH, LEAD STORIES, NEWS, OPINION

Cusack facing several challengers for her County Council At-Large seat

BY ASHLEY D. THOMAS
DAYTONA TIMES

Daytona Beach Commissioners Carl Lentz, Kelly White and Patrick Henry have thrown their names into the proverbial election hat for Election 2014. The three incumbents in Districts 1, 3 and 5 face no challengers for the Nov. 4 election although there’s still time for others to enter the race.

140417_dt_front01The city commission consists of seven elected officials – one mayor and six zoned commissioners. They each serve four-year terms and elections are staggered on even-numbered years. For this reason, Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry as well as Commissioners Pam Woods, Robert Gilliland and Paula Reed will remain on the commission for another two years uncontested.

Cusack’s  competition
Along with the city seats, various county, state and federal spots are up for grabs. One race in particular to be closely watched is the County Council At-Large seat.

140417_dt_focus01bCurrent At-Large Representative for Volusia County Joyce Cusack will seek to hold her seat. Her challengers thus far are Patricia Northey, County Council Representative, District 5; Webster Barnaby, Deltona City Commissioner District 2; and Holly Hill Mayor Roy Johnson.

The County Council makes broad policy decisions much like the board of directors of a major corporation. It also reviews and approves the county’s annual budget and passes ordinances as necessary. These elected officials are elected for a term of four years. The current Daytona Beach representative, Josh Wagner, District 2 was elected in 2012.

State, federal elections
Three Florida state senators cover the Volusia County area. District 6 Senator John Thrasher (Republican) will contend against Greg Feldman (NPA) for his seat.

Neither Republican Senators Dorothy L. Hukill (R) nor David Simmons face competitors at this time for their District 8 and District 10 seats, respectively. A sole Florida House of Representatives member covers Daytona Beach. Incumbent Rep. Dwayne Taylor (D), District 26 will face Michael Cantu (R) at the polls.

Three current county judges are up for re-election and face no opponents – Judith “Judy’’ Davidson, Group 1; Steven Henderson, Group 6; and Peter A.D. McGlashan, Group 10.

On the state level, current Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam (R) will face Thaddeus “Thad” Hamilton (D) while Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater (R) gets a challenge from William Rankin (D).

Attorney General Pam Bondi (R) will face George Sheldon (Dem), Perry E. Thurston Jr. (D), and Bill Wohlsifer (Libertarian Party). Gov. Rick Scott has 31 contenders with former Gov. Charlie Christ and former State Senator Nan Rich as his most prominent foes.

In the congressional races, U.S. Rep. Ron Desantis (R) District 6, is being challenged by David Cox (D). District 7 U.S. Rep. John Mica (R) has five contenders.

Not too late
Volusia County and Daytona Beach citizens who want to contend for a local office seat should be aware of various deadlines. Signed petitions are due by May 19 at noon and paperwork to run, such as certification letters, are to be submitted between June 16-June 20 by noon.

For those who choose not to have signed petitions, a qualifying fee equal to 3 percent of salary for office being sought plus an election assessment fee 1 percent and a party assessment fee 2 percent (partisan offices only) can be paid instead.

City elections are conducted by the City Clerk’s office and all others through the Supervisor of Elections office. You must be registered to vote in order to vote in any election.

Primary elections will be held Aug. 26 and the General Election is Nov. 4.

For more information on current candidates or to seek candidacy information, contact the Volusia County Supervisor of Elections Office at 386-254-4690 or the Daytona Beach Clerk’s Office at 386-671-8023.

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