NICEVILLE, Fla. (WKRG) — Incumbents in both the Okaloosa County school board and commissioner races took home the win Tuesday night for the Florida Primary. Challengers in the school board races were backed by Yes for Okaloosa County Schools, an organization that sought to unseat the incumbents in response to alleged abuse in 2019.
School board district 1, 3 and 5 incumbents will all retain their seats.
- Lamar White – 20,050 votes
- Jerry Buckman – 18,471 votes
- Linda Evanchyk – 23,638 votes
- Darrell Barnhill – 14,748 votes
- Diane Kelley – 25,129 votes
- Cara Marion – 13,123 votes
District 2 Commissioner Carolyn Ketchel beat out challengers CareySue Beasley and Matt Turpin with 48% of the votes, according to the unofficial results with the Supervisor of Elections.
County Commissioner District 2:
- Carolyn Ketchel – 18,692 votes
- Matt Turpin – 14,044 votes
- CareySue Beasley – 6,180 votes
As for more Florida primary races, Congressman Matt Gaetz received 68 percent of the republican votes Tuesday night for the District 1 seat. Rebekah Jones took the democratic side with 65 percent of the votes.
Wilton Simpson secured the republican vote in Okaloosa Co. for the Commissioner of Agriculture race. Naomi Esther Blemur won 49% of the Democratic votes.
WKRG News 5 reached out to Okaloosa County School Superintendent Marcus Chambers for reaction to the unofficial results but have not heard back.
Yes for Okaloosa Schools released a statement following the unofficial results to WKRG News 5 Wednesday afternoon.
YES For Okaloosa Schools congratulates the winners of yesterday’s School Board races. While we are disappointed by the results, we also congratulate the challengers for having the courage to stand up and run for office. Jerry Buckman’s very narrow loss to a well-connected politician clearly shows there’s widespread desire for change in the way our School Board operates. We as a community must find a way to reverse the downward trend we all see in our school district. The fight for Improved Accountability in the Okaloosa School District will continue.Yes for Okaloosa School Committee Board
More unofficial results can be found here. The Supervisor of Election will release more leading up to the November 8 General Election on the county website. Voter registration ends on Oct. 11.