A Note From Mid Bay News

Mid Bay News asked all Okaloosa County Commission and School Board Commission candidates to submit more information about themselves ahead of this Summer’s primary election. 

All candidates were asked the two questions below:

  1. Why should voters choose me for the office I am running for?
  2. What will success look like at the end of my term in office – what specific goals will I aim to accomplish?

Mid Bay News did not edit, alter or otherwise change the responses received from the candidates. 

This Submission is from Okaloosa County Commission Candidate for District 2, CareySue Beasley. 

Niceville, Valparaiso, Bluewater Bay and Eglin Air Force Base Residents who are registered to vote regardless of party affiliation can vote in this election. This is a universal primary.

Dr. Lamar White Candidate Statement


Since 1976 in Okaloosa County, with a strong work ethic and dedication to public service, Lamar White has made a positive difference in the lives of young people and our community.

2018, 2017, 2016 – CHAIRMAN of the School Board

2014-ELECTED, Okaloosa School Board

2012-Retired from the Okaloosa School District as Principal @ Meigs Middle School


The following were motions of Lamar or ideas/achievements championed by Lamar and adopted by the school board:

-Live streamed and archived school board meetings;

-Required notification of parents of civil rights violations;

-Made public comment a standing item on agenda;

-Withdrew from the National School Boards Association;

-As Chairman, led the adoption of the Guardian Program in Okaloosa schools;

-Supported keeping schools open during Covid19;

-Supported new curriculum standards replacing Common Core;

-Campaigned to end early release of students;

-Made successful policy motion to abolish CRT in schools with new

requirements for introduction of curriculum; and,

-Lowest property tax millage levy in 32 years.


Highest academic credentials and career/job experience provides Lamar with expert knowledge and insight into the many complex facets of the school system and prepares Lamar for the many roles of a school board member. Lamar has a doctorate (FSU) and M.A. & B.A. (UWF). Lamar served as a principal of 4 Okaloosa schools; a Florida Master Teacher, and 2x was the “Outstanding Professor” in UWF’s graduate School of Ed. Lamar retired from the Okaloosa District after 35 years of experience in 2012. Lamar’s school board efforts focused on increasing student instructional time, improving academic performance, reducing testing, reducing teacher paperwork, and increasing governmental accountability. Since Lamar was first elected, instructional time increased by eliminating monthly early student release; Okaloosa has been A+ rated yearly; locally mandated testing was halted, and teacher paperwork was reduced. Lamar’s passed motion to broadcast school board meetings at low-cost via the Internet 24/7 increased transparency and accountability. Lamar has a strong record of support for extracurricular programs. The Okaloosa district is a top school district in Florida. Our students achieve at the highest levels academically. Millions of scholarship dollars are awarded to Okaloosa students. Extracurricular programs are among the best in the United States. Okaloosa’s Career and Technical Education programs are a model for Florida and the nation. All of Lamar’s actions, from the annual budget of $340+ million dollars, to attending student awards, to attending community events, to approving contracts for safe schools, are aimed at helping students. Since 2014, Lamar and Connie have attended hundreds of events advocating for Okaloosa schools.


Lamar arrived in Okaloosa in 1961 as the son of a Korean war veteran. Lamar attended local schools and graduated from Choctawhatchee (’71). In 1970, Lamar began dating Connie Russell who arrived in Okaloosa County in 1959 with her Air Force father, Colonel F.M. Russell. In 1972, Lamar and Connie were married while they attended college full-time and worked in part-time jobs. Following graduation (3 years), Connie taught English at both FWBHS & Choctawhatchee. Lamar became a teacher and coach (football, tennis, & cross country) at Choctawhatchee. In 1978, their son Ben was born. Ben is married to Bethany (Brayden and Brody). Connie retired in 2008. Lamar retired in 2012 after serving 35 years with his last 26 years as a school administrator in Okaloosa. Lamar and Connie are grandparents with two grandsons, Brayden and Brody. Brayden will attend kindergarten this year at Destin elementary.


Chairman, Okaloosa School Board 3x

School Board Member

Principal @ Meigs & Ruckel Middle Schools, Plew Elem., & Ocean City Elem.

College Professor 

District Admin.

Assistant Prin.

Teacher & Coach


FL Master Teacher;  2x Outstanding Professor UWF;  13 FL “A” School Grades (as

principal @ 3 different schools); Mentor Principal;  Phi Alpha Theta Honorary;

Past Pres. Middle Sch. Athletic Conf.; Championship HS Coach


2x MVP Award from Okaloosa Republican Club, 2017 & 2016

2022 Endorsed/Recommended for Re-election by the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors

2018 Endorsed by Rep. Women of Okaloosa Federated & Niceville Republican Women Federated

2014 Endorsed by Emerald Coast Assoc. of Realtors & Smart Vote


Cinco Baptist Church

Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce


Former Niceville-Valp. & Crestview Chambers of Commerce; Kiwanis

YMCA & Shalimar Coach

Pi Kappa Alpha

Connie-Past 2nd VP Republican Women of Okaloosa Federated; Emerald Coast Jr. League

FL Master Teacher;  2x Outstanding Professor UWF;  13 FL “A” School Grades (as principal @ 3 different schools); Mentor Principal;  Phi Alpha Theta Honorary; Past Pres. Middle Sch. Athletic Conf.; Championship HS Coach

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