Susan Hardee Steger
Nassau County’s hotly contested sheriff’s race will be over on August 14, 2012 even if there is a tie for first place. In the event of a tie, the canvasing board will cast lots to determine the winner.
Four Republican candidates are vying for the sheriff’s position with no other party affiliated candidates or write in candidates in the mix. The result is a “Universal Primary Election,” allowing all registered voters, no matter what party affiliation, to vote for sheriff in August. The top vote getter in this race is not required to have over 50% voter approval. Four Republican candidates seeking the sheriff’s position are, Chris Hartley, Bill Leeper, Garland ‘Bubba” Rhoden, and Steve Whitley. Current Nassau County Sheriff Tommy Seagraves will not be seeking re-election.
The August 14 election will also declare winners in the Nassau County Commission for District 3 and 5. Again, all Nassau County registered voters will be able to vote. For District 3, voters will choose between Pat Edwards and Ronnie Stoots. District 5 will offer voters a choice between incumbent Walter Boatright and Kenneth Bruce Overstreet.
Open as well to all registered voters are the non-partisan school board races for District 2 and 4. If one candidate received 50% plus one or more votes, the race is over. Otherwise, the two highest vote getters will appear on the November ballot. With three individuals competing in District 2, Cari Ford Cahill, Incumbent Gail G. Cook, and John M. Pulice, and four individuals competing in District 4, Kimberly Joyce Fahigren, Russell L. Johnson, Tracy Range-Ketchie, and Richard Williams, it is doubtful any candidate will receive over 50% of the vote.
Only registered Republicans will be able to vote in the race for Nassau County Property Appraiser and Ocean Highway and Port Authority, District 1. The winner will face a “No Party Affiliated” or “Write –in” candidate in November.
Breathing a sigh of relief are unopposed incumbents. They are Nassau County Judge Granville C. “Doc” Burgess, John Crawford, Nassau County Clerk, John Drew, Nassau County Tax Collector, Vicki P. Cannon, Nassau County Supervisor of Elections, ,John L. Ruis, Nassau County School Superintendent, Danny Leeper, Nassau County Commissioner District 1, and Danny Fulwood, Ocean Highway and Port Authority District I. According to Vicki Cannon, Nassau County Supervisor of Elections, this is an unusually large group of unopposed incumbents.
Early voting begins August 4 and ends August 11. Sample ballots are mailed to each registered voter one week prior to the beginning of early voting. For further information visit the Nassau County Supervisor of Elections’ website.
June 12, 2012 2:30 p.m.