election stock photo

The clock struck noon in Florida, signaling the deadline to file paperwork to run in local and state elections. Last-minute candidates filed for some races, while others were automatically elected without opposition.

Volusia County Council 

Six of the seven seats on the Volusia County Council are up for grabs this year. Of those, West Volusia residents can vote in three: at-large, District 1 and District 5.

In the at-large race, candidates Sherrise Boyd, Jake Johansson, Andy Kelly and Doug Pettit qualified. Incumbent Ben Johnson is not running for re-election.

In the race for County Council District 1, representing the DeLand area, two candidates qualified to run: Don Dempsey and incumbent Barbara Girtman.

In Southwest Volusia, three candidates qualified to run for District 5. Those candidates are Julio David Sosa, Victor Ramos and David Santiago.

Volusia County School Board

West Volusia voters will vote in two Volusia County School Board races in the upcoming election: District 1 and District 5.

School Board District 1 represents the DeLand area. Five candidates qualified to run in this busy race for the seat currently occupied by incumbent Jamie Haynes.

Challenging Haynes are Al Bouie, Georgann Carnicella, Jaclyn Carrell and Ginny-Beth Joiner.

The race for School Board District 5 is also a contentious one. Two candidates qualified to run — incumbent Ruben Colón and County Council Member turned School Board candidate Fred Lowry.

West Volusia Hospital Authority

Three seats are up for election on the West Volusia Hospital Authority this year, but nobody other than the incumbent for each seat filed to run, so there will be no Hospital Authority elections.

Group A, Seat 1, is occupied by Donna Pepin, the former chair of the Hospital Authority Board’s Citizens Advisory Committee. She was appointed to the board last year when former Hospital Authority Board Member Brian Soukup, who was elected to the board in the 2020 election, resigned. Pepin finished out Soukup’s two-year term and has no challengers for her seat. She is automatically re-elected.

Group B, Seat 1, is currently occupied by Chair Jennifer Coen. Coen was also elected in 2020 and will serve another term. She was automatically re-elected when no challengers filed.

Group B, Seat 2, is currently occupied by Voloria Manning. Manning, also elected in 2020, didn’t have a challenger for her seat during that election, either. Manning will serve another term; she was automatically re-elected.

Volusia County Soil & Water Conservation District

In the wake of recently passed legislation, all five seats on the Volusia County Soil & Water Board are up for grabs, but, incumbent or not, only one candidate qualified in each race. Those who qualified by the deadline today are automatically re-elected.

The new board will be composed of Wendy Anderson, who currently serves as the board’s chair, with newcomers Austin Spivey, Dennis Michael Simpson, James Francis Brinton and Kristine Cunningham.


The River City will have only one contest on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Seat 3 City Council Member Patricia Stevenson has a challenger in her bid for a second term. Donald John Taylor Jr. is vying for the post on the five-member panel.

Mayor Karen Chasez and Seat 4 Council Member Phyllis Butlien have been re-elected by default, as there was no challenger in either contest.


The end of the qualifying period didn’t bring any last-minute candidates into the various City Commission races, but one candidate who had announced dropped out.

Three candidates are in the running to be the city’s new mayor: Chris Cloudman, Buz Nesbit and Reggie Williams.

In the race for DeLand City Commission Seat 3, incumbent Jessica Davis is facing a challenge from newcomer Deirdre Dukes Perry.

In the race for Seat 4, there were no last-minute additions, but one candidate dropped out of the race. Jeff Hunter, who had filed to run, withdrew and contributed $500 to Pastor Troy Bradley Sr.’s campaign. Bradley is running against DeLand businessman Dan Reed.

Three candidates qualified for Seat 5: Matthew Johnson, Carlos Navarro and incumbent Kevin Reid.


The biggest city in Volusia County has five races this year.

Incumbent Mayor Heidi Herzberg faces challenges from Santiago Avila and Gus Kostianis. Avila lost to Herzberg in 2018, and he is making a second run for Deltona’s top elected office.

Two candidates are in the running to represent the city’s District 1, which covers the northeastern part of Deltona. Brandy White, a municipal-government watchdog, is running against Tom Burbank, a former Deltona city planner, for the post.

Incumbent Commissioner Maritza Avila-Vazquez is facing a challenge from Tara D’Errico for the right to represent District 3, which is in the center of the city.

The District 5 race has two contenders: Stephen Colwell and Donald Freeman.

Two candidates are in the running to represent Deltona’s District 6. Whoever is elected will serve the remaining two years of the four-year term for which David Sosa was elected in 2020. Under Florida’s resign-to-run law, Sosa is vacating the District 6 post to run for the District 5 Volusia County Council seat.

The hopefuls for the right to represent Deltona’s District 6 are William “Bill” Coakley and Jody Lee Storozuk.

Lake Helen

Lake Helen voters will get to vote in two races.

In the race for Lake Helen City Commission Zone 2, incumbent Roger Eckert and challenger Kurt Sniffin qualified to run.

Jim Connell, the current Zone 4 incumbent, faces outspoken Lake Helen resident Charlene Bishop in the Zone 4 race.

Orange City

Two City Council races are on the ballot for voters in Orange City.

The at-large, or citywide, contest has already been decided. Cassandra Jones was the only candidate who qualified to run. The same is true for Kelli Marks, who represents and will continue to represent District 4.

Jeff Allebach is seeking to hold onto his place on the seven-member council. Representing District 2, Allebach is facing a challenge from Alisa “Lisa” Stafford. The race goes to the Aug. 23 primary.

District 5 Council Member Martin Harper is facing a challenge from Fran Darms. This contest will be on the Nov. 8 ballot.


Three seats on Pierson’s five-seat Town Council are up for election this year, and some of those races have stiff competition.

Seat 1 has two contenders: incumbent D. Gray Leonhard and Planning Commission Member Linnie Richardson. Leonhard previously served as the chair of the town’s Planning Commission, but was appointed to the Town Council following the death of former Town Council Member James T. Peterson.

Seat 2 has four contenders: L. James Anderson, Dale D. Barnhart, Kelly A. Green and Brandy Peterson.

Only one candidate filed to run for Seat 3 — incumbent Vice Mayor Robert F. Greenlund. He was automatically elected.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here