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Okaloosa County Commission District 1 Candidates 2024

a man with a shaved head and beard in a coat and tie.

Paul Mixon

Crestview Pastor
Click for more info on Paul

De'Carlo Garcia

Veteran, Actor, Technician
Click for more info on De'Carlo

Okaloosa County’s first district is located in the northeastern portion of the county and represents its past and future. 

 

It includes the eastern half of the City of Crestview, the oldest city in the county (Laurel Hill), the Shoal River Ranch industrial site, and a teensy portion of Niceville which includes Northwest Florida State College. 

 

Crestview area residents have typically represented the district. Wayne Harris, Graham Fountain and now Paul Mixon have served the last three terms on the commission. 

 

Harris oversaw the Mark Bellinger fiasco which left an indelible mark on how tourism money is spent in the county. Graham Fountain, a controversial commissioner who got things done, led the way in making the Southwest Crestview Bypass a reality thanks to his many contacts in Tallahassee and on the Triumph Gulf Coast Board (who’ve paid for the majority of the construction). 

 

Mixon has carried on Fountain’s legacy, serving on the board as it approved the appropriation of Half-Cent sales tax monies to improve Sheriff’s Office radio communication, road infrastructure, and other projects—though a less-than-proportional share has made its way into the Niceville, Valparaiso, and Bluewater Bay area. 

What Does An Okaloosa County Commissioner Do?

An Okaloosa County Commissioner is responsible for the oversight of nearly three quarters of a Billion of your local tax dollars every year. In addition to budgeting responsibilities they have several other issues they must deal with every year. Click the button for a refresher of what an Okaloosa County Commissioner does. 

Incumbent Commissioner Mel Ponder

Okaloosa County District 5 Incumbent Mel Ponder is the second commissioner in this election cycle to announce that he will not run for re-election in 2024. Ponder won the seat in 2020 after a tough primary challenge against two other candidates. 

District 5 encompasses all of Destin, the eastern half of greater Niceville and all of Bluewater Bay.

The last niceville-area resident to hold the position was James Campbell, who ended his term of service in 2012. 

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