MILTON — Meet you Santa Rosa County commissioner candidates. They are listed in the order they appear on the Santa Rosa County Supervisor of Elections 2018 announced candidates list at www.votesantarosa.com
Tammy Jo Brown (REP) for District 2
Brown worked for seven years for the clerk of courts and has owned and operated Brown’s Hauling Inc. for over 28 years with her loving husband Joe. Together they have three children and nine grandchildren. One of her grandchildren is currently serving in the Marines.
Brown said her business has generated revenue for Santa Rosa County. She also believes in term limits.
“I think the citizens of Santa Rosa County are tired of career politicians and they deserve a change,” Brown said.
Brown said she is dedicated to small businesses, more walkability within the local communities, more affordable housing, public transportation and protecting Santa Rosa History and Heritage. She also said she is dedicated to transparency of county government with an open door policy, listening to the needs of all citizens, and low cost spay and neuter.
Brown asked for you to give her your vote.
Bob Cole (REP) for District 2
Bob Cole has been married to his wife Sheila for 46 years. The two have four children and 11 grandchildren. Cole is a 1977 graduate of what was then Pensacola Junior College in industrial education. A Pine Terrace Baptist Church member of over 20 years, Cole has taught Sunday school, served as president of the men’s brotherhood and is a member of Gideon International.
Cole has served as county commissioner since 2002 with stints on various county and regional boards including the Bay Area Resource Council, the Santa Rosa County Fair Committee, the Regional Transportation Authority and the National Association of Counties, Navy veteran from 1970 to 1974 and lifelong Republican.
Cole’s focus, he said, will be to continue making great progress with the board on all infrastructure, roads, and drainage as well as moving the courthouse forward now that the county has selected an appropriate piece of property and a funding source to cover the cost. He said he’ll continue building on the fantastic quality of life Santa Rosa County citizens enjoy.
Cole enjoys working as a team member with the other a commissioners and staff, he said, to successfully move the county forward for the benefit of all, toe provide everyday government, and be prudent with taxpayers’ dollars.
He thanks everybody for their support and confidence all these years he has served.
Cole will continue to trust God for guidance, he said, have an open door policy, and treat all constituents with honesty and respect.
He earnestly asks for your vote.
Kris Long (Non Party Affiliate) for District 2
Long is a life long resident of Santa Rosa County. Long is married to his loving wife Angel and together they have two children. Long is a veteran of the United States Navy and a former Army contractor who worked in Afghanistan. Long has taught cyber security at Locklin Tech Institution, and high school basketball coach for 8 years. Long currently serves on the Board of Adjustment at the City of Milton, IT at Baptist Hospital, President of non-profit Milton Sports Club. He is a graduate of Leadership Santa Rosa Class and takes part in several organizations involving children.
Long said he is running because he wants to see crime rate go down, education go up, euthanasia rates for animals go down, and better infrastructure.
“While crime rate is down 20+% in the entire county in my district 2 it is up 8%,” Long said in an email. “While our county ranks 12th in the state for education. 3 out of the 4 elementary who received the lowest school grades (C) are in my District 2.”
Long said being a non-party affiliate will allow him to be able to represent everyone and give everyone a voice.
If elected, Long plans to bring technology to the community, properly equipping police with resources they need for growth. Long said he wants to also develop the industrial park and implement impact fees for developers.
“Allow me to serve this great county like I served this great country in the United States Navy,” Long said. [Allow me to serve] with Honor Courage and Commit and be committed to excellence and the fair treatment of all.”
Wallis Mahute (REP) for District 2
Mahute has lived in Santa Rosa County since 1999. She is married to her loving husband Howard Mahute, who served in the Navy. They have two children and three grandchildren. Mahute retired from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas in 1994. Wallis has been an active volunteer since coming to Santa Rosa including volunteering at the Imogene Theatre, Panhandle Butterfly House, and local fairs.
Mahute said she wants to see Santa Rosa progress into the future with infrastructure. Wallis said that big businesses need to see that Santa Rosa has something to offer them in the way of infrastructure.
"This goes hand in hand with economic development," she said. “We need to start providing infrastructure. We need to prepare for the future.”
Mahute also wants to improve the parks. She said she would like to see a splash pad made available to children with disabilities. She would also like for public transportation to be brought back to the county and a special transport service started for Locklin Tech.
She said she would be a great asset to the county because she knows what is going on in the county. She said she has regularly attended the county and zoning meetings for 12 years and thinks there are too many variances to the land development code.
“I will work for the people,” Mahute said. “I will do the right thing. I will be honest. I can be a fulltime commissioner. I intend to work for the public.”
Mahute asks you to vote for her this Tuesday.
David Piech (REP) for District 4
Piech has been a resident of Santa Rosa County since 2015. My wife Lynn, a career educator, and our three rescue Labradors,
Retiring as a Colonel after 27-1/2 years in the US Air Force, Piech is an engineer with a Masters in Engineering and Environmental Management. Piech has held numerous positions to include being a three-time squadron and group commander, retiring as Director of Installations and Mission Support for Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field in 2017.
“I see a community that must focus on smart, sensible growth while improving infrastructure and solving traffic issues,” Piech said in an email. “My top priority is to ensure that the plans for Santa Rosa County complement development, economic growth, and quality of life.”
Piech believes the county must execute an in-depth review of how growth taxes our infrastructure, traffic, and environment. He also believes the county must develop cohesive plans from existing information that allows us to program and budget for our communities’ immediate and future needs.
Piech said he staunchly believes that elected officials work for, and are entrusted by, all the residents of the county to make decisions that obligate their tax dollars and impact daily lives. He said full disclosure is non-negotiable, and he believes that integrity, service before self, and excellence in all you do fully supports the transparency that residents of Santa Rosa County expect and deserve.
Rob Williamson (REP) for District 4
Commissioner Williamson has been married to wife Amie for 19 years. He has lived in Santa Rosa for 15 years and has been a business owners for 13 of those years. The Williamsons have two children, Annabelle and Hilton and a labrador, Pepper. They are active in Christian Life United Methodist.
Williamson said Santa Rosa County is in a time of great prosperity. He said he will work hard to protect the gains made in the last few years and use them as a foundation to deliver smarter growth, improved infrastructure, safer communities and opportunities for businesses to expand and create jobs.
Williamson wants to thank voters for the privilege of serving as commissioner the last four years. Williamson said before asking to serve in public office, he spent a decade volunteering, serving in local leadership and learning about the county communities. Williamson said it’s important to have a leader who has been around long enough to understand the needs of all of Santa Rosa County, not just a select few.
Williamson is asking for voters to choose him to keep working for Santa Rosa County. Williamson said if area residents ever need him, they can contact him directly at 565-0658.