FERNANDINA BEACH WEATHER

Still time to run for local election

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
May 15, 2020

Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

We are just shy of a month away from the qualifiication period for Nassau County elected offices that will be contested this fall. Those seeking election to Fernandina Beach City Commission seats have about a month longer to qualify.

County Offices up for election this year include:

Clerk of Circuit Court and Comptroller
Property Appraiser
Sheriff
Superintendent of Schools
Supervisor of Elections
Tax Collector
County Commissioner, District 1
County Commissioner, District 3
County Commissioner, District 5
School Board Member, District 2
School Board Member, District 4
Ocean, Highway & Port Authority Member, District 1
Ocean, Highway & Port Authority Member, District 2

With the exception of School Board Member races, all other races listed above are partisan in nature; incumbents in partisan races are all Republican. In most, but not all of the above races, incumbents are seeking reelection. Notable exceptions: County Commissioner races.

To date, the following individuals have filed to run for the County seats:

Clerk of Circuit Court and Comptroller – Incumbent John Crawford
Property Appraiser – Incumbent A. Michael Hickox
Sheriff – Incumbent Bill Leeper
Superintendent of Schools – Incumbent Kathy Knight Burns; challengers Dale P. Braddock, Albert J. Wagner
Supervisor of Elections – Stan Bethea, Justin M. Taylor
Tax Collector – John Drew
County Commissioner, District 1* – John Martin
County Commissioner, District 3 – Jeff Gray, Brent Lemond
County Commissioner, District 5 – Charles L. Gressman, Anthony Stamps
School Board Member, District 2 – Incumbent Gail Cook
School Board Member, District 4 – Cynthia Grooms challenging incumbent Russell L. Johnson
Ocean, Highway & Port Authority Member, District 1 – Miriam Hilll challenging incumbent Robert Sturges
Ocean, Highway & Port Authority Member, District 2 – Incumbent Danny Fullwood

Qualifying will be held from Noon, June 8, 2020 through Noon, June 12, 2020 for all Nassau County candidates, including write-in candidates. By law, the Nassau County Supervisor of Elections (SOE) may accept and hold qualifying papers beginning at 8 a.m., May 26, 2020. All qualifying fees and paperwork received during the pre-qualifying period will be held and processed when the qualifying period begins at Noon on June 8, 2020.

The SOE office will be CLOSED in observance of Memorial Day on Monday May 25, 2020.

HOW AND WHERE TO FILE (COUNTY ELECTIONS)

If you are contemplating a run for County Office, visit the Supervisor of Elections Website for all the filing, qualifying and other campaign requirements. If you have already decided to run for office, the official email address for qualifying is: [email protected] To email your qualifying papers, attach forms in .pdf format. To mail your qualifying papers, the official U.S. mailing address is: 96135 Nassau Place, Suite 3, Yulee, FL 32097.

Please notify the office in advance if a courier service will be delivering your qualifying forms.
To personally deliver your qualifying papers to the office (appointment only) please use the following options:

Schedule an appointment by calling 904.491.7500, or
Email the office at [email protected] with a preferred date and time for an appointment

Although not currently available in the office, online notarial services are available for notaries who have taken the online notary course. The Supervisor of Elections Office can notarize your qualifying documents if physically present.

A qualifying check (if applicable) cannot be submitted by email and must be submitted by U.S. Mail, delivery service, or at the time of your appointment.

HOW AND WHERE TO FILE FOR FERNANDINA BEACH CITY ELECTIONS

This year there are three City Commission seats up for grabs. Only one incumbent is seeking reelection. City races are non-partisan. Information below was taken from the City website:

Group 1:
Candidate name: Ms. Marian Phillips
Address:  724 South 6th Street, Fernandina Beach, Florida 32034
Phone: (904) 206-0230
Email:  [email protected]

Candidate name: Mr. Bradley Mason Bean
Address: 1512 Inverness Road, Fernandina Beach, Florida 32034
Email: [email protected]

Group 2:
Candidate name: Ms. Alexandra Reed Lajoux
Address: 646 Spanish Way East, Fernandina Beach, Florida 32034
Phone: (904) 310-3784
Email: [email protected]

Candidate name: Mr. David Sturges
Address: 319 Benjamin Street, Fernandina Beach, Florida 32034
Phone: (904) 753-2445
Email: [email protected]

Candidate name:  Ms. Genece Minshew
Address:  2428 Los Robles Drive, Fernandina Beach, Florida 32034
Phone:  (904) 491-0185
Email:  [email protected]

Group 3:
Candidate name: Mr. Ronald “Chip” Ross  (Incumbent)
Address: 210 North 3rd Street, Fernandina Beach, Florida 32034
Phone: (410) 394-0220
Email: [email protected]

The 2020 General Election Qualifying Period begins July 13, 2020 at 8:00 AM and concludes July 17, 2020 at 5:00 PM.

In accordance with Code of Ordinances Section 34-2 every candidate for election as a member of the City Commission shall file a notice of candidacy with City Clerk Caroline Best during the Qualifying Period as set by resolution each year by the City Commission. Upon filing of the notice, all documents required by this Code, City Charter and/or Florida Statute Election laws shall be given to the City Clerk, and all required Qualifying Fees shall be paid.

The City Clerk coordinates City General Elections and Runoff elections with the Nassau County Supervisor of Elections Office and is the official Qualifying Officer for candidates seeking elected office within the City of Fernandina Beach.

Candidates may qualify by petition or by fee payment. The 2020 General Election Petition Deadline is Friday, July 3, 2020 – Prior to 12 noon. The number of valid petitions required (from registered voters who are residents of the City of Fernandina Beach) is 108.

For complete information on filing, qualifying and campaigning for City Commission seats, visit the City’s website here. The 2020 General Election Candidate Handbook available on that site contains important candidate/campaign information including qualifying dates, candidate petition deadline and monthly calendar of campaign treasurer reporting dates.

If you need assistance reading the online Candidate Handbook, please contact the City Clerk’s office: (904) 310-3115.

*Update 5-16-2020:  Following publication of this article the Supervisor of Elections updated her site to indicate that incumbent Nassau County Commissioner Danny Leeper  has also filed to run for reelection to the District 1 seat he currently holds.

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