DESTIN, Fla. (WKRG) — City Councilman Bobby Wagner, 28, won the 2022 General Election for the Destin Mayoral race. The votes came out showing Wagner with 60% of the votes against long-time councilman Rodney Braden.
- Wagner will be sworn in at the City Council Meeting on Nov. 28
“Having 60% of the vote come out in Destin for me is just a huge honor. To carry on this vision and mission of a future of Destin where the residents are put first has really resonated with everyone and I’m so honored and humbled to bring that vision to life over the next four years,” said Wagner. “I think it’s just it’s the beginning of the next phase in Destin where everyone is involved, everyone is committed, and we move forward together, solving the issues that we face today.”
WKRG News 5 met up with the Mayor-elect on Wednesday to talk about the future he sees for the luckiest fishing village.
“I just hope my legacy moving forward isn’t about me, but it’s about this community and it’s about the rallying cry that when people lock arms together that things can get done for the people who care about it,” said Wagner. “While I am 28, I’ve been a business owner for 10 years now and the city has given me everything. The community has given me the tools and support, my family has given me the guidance to keep moving, and now moving forward in this role, it’s all about keeping that sense of community at the center.”
Outgoing Mayor Gary Jarvis left a message for the new council leadership Monday night to finish what he started. Wagner said he is excited to get the ball moving.
“Some of these projects unfortunately have not made it through the finish line. I am committed to completing all these projects because they are a benefit to the residents in Destin. They may help the tourists but they are for and focused on the locals who live here in call Dustin home,” said Wagner. “So for me, it’s about completing the projects that are already set while envisioning and creating projects in the future.”
Serving as one of the youngest mayors in the state of Florida, Wagner said he has the experience and knows what he wants to do next.
“Running this campaign has been one of the most gratifying parts of the job so far. I started with Revive, Reclaim, Sustain, these three words and I thought I knew what those were going to be. But after door knocking and meeting thousands of people, they told me what they wanted and I found meaning in my own words through other people,” said Wagner. “Moving forward now, I will no longer guess and think about what we all need and want. I now know because everyone has told me. I understand. I’ve listened. I’ve communicated. And moving forward, I will continue to do so even though we have a good pulse now in the city of Destin.”
Wagner said his first step for the council and new members is to reimagine the city’s committee program and appoint people that are ready to make a difference.
“One of the very first things that I want to look towards our Council to do is to re-evaluate all of our committees. If they are important, we should fund them. If they’re not important, we should get rid of them,” said Wagner. “As we have a new Council, this means that we actually have new Committee members coming on so one of the biggest things I want to start stressing and one of the biggest things I want to start using this platform for is finding willing, wanting and eligible citizens of Destin to come onto the committees that are passionate so we can start solving problems.”
Residents interested in joining committees or participating in local government can contact Wagner at 850-517-0659.
“Anyone who comes over the bridge, whether it be Mid-Bay or Destin, I want people to be in awe and inspired about what a community can do, especially when we’re moving together to the future in a sustainable way for economics and environment,” said Wagner.