Final Unofficial Results Are In!

The unofficial (but pretty official) results are in – and all of the incumbents have been re-elected in local races across Okaloosa County. 


Most of the races, for school board and county commissioner, had relatively clear winners. But there was still some nuance in the results. 


A total of 41,199 ballots were cast in the election – some 30,000 of which were Republican. 


Matt Gaetz won his primary for US House handily, earning a little over 68% of the Republican voters in his race in Okaloosa County. Challenger Mark Lombardo garnered about a third of that number. 


In the State Senate Race for District 2, which includes Niceville and the rest of the Mid Bay Area, Jay Trumbull trounced Regina Piazza by a 3:1 margin. Trumbull received 73.29 percent of the vote to Piazza’s 26.71%. 

But let’s get to what you really came for, the local races! 


County Commission District 2 Race

County Commissioner Carolyn Ketchel will retain her seat on the Board of the Okaloosa County Commission. With a plurality of 48.03% of the almost 29,000 ballots cast, Ketchel defeated challengers Matt Turpin and CareySue Beasley. Turpin came in second place in the vote, with 36.08% and Beasley came in third with approximately 15.88% of voters casting their ballot for her. 


“I’m very honored that the citizens of Okaloosa County brought me back to office,” Ketchel told Mid Bay News, “and I feel that was the endorsement that they feel that Okaloosa County is headed in the right direction. And they’re very happy with their county commission.”


Moving forward, Ketchel plans to continue her efforts to improve infrastructure while keeping taxes low, or even rolling them back to a lower level. 


“I’m gonna stay the course and continue to work on infrastructure, keeping taxes low,” Ketchel added, “I’d still like to see a rollback of the taxes that we have, because property taxes have been high and we’ve been able to collect $11.5 million more than we had last year, in just property taxes alone. I’d like to continue to build the bypass, make sure that we have the roads in place that we need so that people can move about easily, and continue to work on the environmental issues and manage the growth in Okaloosa County. We’ve had a lot of exponential growth in the last number of years. And I’d like to see that continue to be continued, but managed, so that we have the proper roads so people can get in and out of their neighborhoods, get on 85 get on 123.”


✅ Carolyn Ketchel – 48.03%

❌ Matt Turpin – 36.09%

❌ CareySue Beasley – 15.88%

Commissioner Carolyn Ketchel
Okaloosa County Commissioner Carolyn Ketchel will serve a third term on the Board of County Commissioners.

School Board District 1 Race

Incumbent Lamar White beat back a tough challenger, who made few mistakes on the campaign trail, to win his election by a 5-point margin. 


Dr. White will return to the school board for his third term in office. White has been chairmen of the school board three out of the eight years he’s been on the board. He will continue his tenure on the board as its longest-serving member. He’s served in his post since 2014. 


✅ Lamar White – 52.05%

❌ Jerry Buckman – 47.95%

Lamar White has won his third term as a school board member. White will continue on as the longest-serving member of the School Board.

School Board District 3 Race

Linda Evanchyk will also serve another term on the Okaloosa County School Board. Evanchyk defeated challenger Darrell Barnhill by nearly 25 percentage points. 

✅ Linda Evanchyk – 61.58%

❌ Darrell Barnhill – 38.42%

School Board District 5 Race

Dr. Diane Kelley defended her seat successfully against challenger  Cara Marion. Kelley Received almost ⅔ of the vote against the challenger. Marion took the hardest loss of any candidate in the race with her loss. 

✅ Diane Kelley  – 65.69%

❌ Cara Marion – 34.31%

Dr, Diane Kelley
Dr. Diane Kelley has won re-election to the School Board of Okaloosa County

Remember, all of these results are unofficial until the state government approves them. That’ll take a couple of days. 

Primary Update #5 • August 23rd, 8:51 PM

52/52 precincts reporting 

There are still a very small number of ballots outstanding.

This is really unofficial because it doesn’t include provisional or uncured ballots. 

About 88 ballots are outstanding. 

“I don’t see any races that are close enough for a recount,” Supervisor of Elections Paul Lux. “We never call a recount this early in the process anyway.”

In the State of Florida, a race has to be less than .5 percent difference in order to be recounted. 

Board of County Commissioners District 2 

CareySue Beasley 6,180

Carolyn Ketchel 18,692

Matt Turpin 14,044

School Board District 1

Lamar White 20,050

Jerry Buckman 18,471

School Board District 3

Darrell Barnhill 14,748

Linda Evanchyk 23,638

School Board District 5

Cara Marion 13,123

Diane Kelley 25,129

Primary Update #4 • August 23rd, 8:17 PM

50/52 precincts reporting 

Waiting on precincts two and three. 

Board of County Commissioners District 2 

Beasley 6,120

Ketchel 18,495

Turpin 13,838


School Board District 1

Lamar White 19,805

Jerry Buckman 18,260


School Board District 3

Darrell Barnhill 14,529

Linda Evanchyk 23,392


School Board District 5

Cara Marion 12,985

Diane Kelley 24,807

Primary Update #3 • August 23rd, 7:40 PM

44/52 precincts reporting 

Board of County Commissioners District 2 Race

Beasley 5,845

Ketchel 17,695

Turpin 13,110


School Board District 1

White 18,886

Buckman 17,399


School Board District 3

Darrell Barnhill 13,867

Linda Evanchyk 22,281


School Board District 5

Cara Marion 12,397

Diane Kelley 23,655

Primary Update #2 • August 23rd, 6:45 PM

36 precincts reporting 


County Commissioner District 2:

CareySue Beasley: 5,379

Carolyn Ketchel: 16,385

Matt Turpin: 11,946


School Board 1:

Lamar White: 17,295

Jerry Buckman: 16,062


School Board 3:

Linda Evanchyk: 20,510

Darrell Barnhill: 12,716


School Board 5:

Diane Kelley 21,726

Cara Marion: 11,385

Primary Update #1 • August 23rd, 10:45 AM.

Good morning and happy Election Day to everyone in Okaloosa County, Niceville, Valparaiso, Bluewater Bay and Eglin Air Force Base! 


We’ll be using this story as an updated blog to keep a running tab of the results of the elections, as well as other information about Election Day which will give you a more holistic idea as to what happened and why. 


We will be keeping a close track on what happens here in Okaloosa County – especially on the school board and county commissioner races. We’ll provide results for other races as well. But we will focus our attention and resources where they will provide a unique view as to what is happening in our area. 


To learn more about the individual candidates in County Commission and School Board elections, click the button below.

Early Voting Totals From around the County and From Niceville, Valparaiso, Eglin and Bluewater Bay.

All told, as of 10:45AM this morning – a total of 5,200 Democrats and 17,943 Republicans, as well as 1,904 No Party Affiliation and 201 Other Party voters, had cast their ballots in the primary election – making for a 17.84% turnout on the day. 


A total of 2,205 voters from the precincts which make up Niceville, Valparaiso, Eglin Air Force Base and Bluewater Bay cast their ballots by mail – making them about 20% of the total mail-in ballots for Okaloosa County. Another 2,843 voters went in person to vote early. 


Initial results are not typically released until the polls close, which takes place at 7pm this evening. Those results are typically just the tallies of early and mail ballots. 


If you want to have all of this information sent directly to your mailbox so you can read it whenever you’d like – sign up for our newsletter here.

person turning in a ballot

Download our app to stay in the know about niceville

Support local news. get cool stuff.

We’ve never needed local news more than we have today. With newspapers going out of business and fewer reporters around to watchdog local government, cover events or sports, and make sure you know what’s going on in your community


Donate today to keep local, independent and accountable journalism in your community today


Plus, we’ll give you some cool swag when you make your donation monthly

Keep Up With Niceville News

Stop scrolling social media to find out what’s going on in Niceville. Sign up for our weekly newsletter for the info impacting your daily life!

Boat on a Bayou