Valparaiso Only City in Mid Bay Area With Elections This Year.

Valparaiso residents will go to the polls at New Hope Baptist Church to vote for two city commission seats on March 19th, 2024. 


City Commissioners Chris Wasdin and Kay Hamilton’s seats are currently up for the taking. 

Commissioner Hamilton indicated that she would run again. Commissioner Hamilton’s current responsibilities on the commission include leading the city’s library, parks, playground and beaches and City Web Teams. She is currently the city’s representative to the US Coast Guard and US Army Corps of Engineers. Currently, she also serves as Mayor Pro Tempore. 

Commissioner Chris Wasdin says she will run again as well. “I need to finish what I started!” she said in an email. 

Currently, Wasdin is in charge of city storm water maintenance, street layout and development, highway and city traffic matters, streets, and projects to protect land, beach and shores against erosion. 

According to the Okaloosa County Supervisor of Elections Office, no candidates have officially prefiled, including the incumbents. Qualification days will take place between January ninth and twelfth of 2024. After noon on January 12th, no new candidates can enter the commission race. 

You can see live updates of candidates running for office in Okaloosa County here. 

Niceville has its next election cycle in 2025. 

Commissioner Kay Hamilton
Valparaiso City Commissioner Chris Wasdin.

What Do Commissioners Do?

Valparaiso City Commission members are in charge of both setting policy and managing the day-to-day activities of various departments in city government. 

In order to avoid breaking Sunshine Law, the commission silos responsibility to each commissioner in their area of responsibility. The City Commission meets monthly in public and creates and passes legislation, ordinances and an annual budget for the city – in addition to setting the tax rate for property owners in the city each year. 

This is known as the Galveston Plan method of government and differs from other city forms of government in the area.

How Do I Sign Up To Run For Commissioner?

There are several basic requirements outlined in the Valparaiso Code of Ordinances that a potential candidate must complete before they can get on the ballot and run for commission. They include:

  1. You can only run for one office at a time. The city will not allow you to file as a candidate if you are running or plan to run for another office at the city, county, state, special district or national level. 
  2. You can’t hold another office while you are running for city commission. You have to resign your post to run for City Commission. Members who are on appointed boards don’t need to resign their posts in order to run for office. 
  3. A candidate must make a loyalty oath and a candidate oath, in writing. 
  4. The candidate must also submit an affidavit of residency. You have to swear, under penalty of perjury, you live in city limits.

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