BEACON PHOTO/BARB SHEPHERD DOWN ON THE FARM — Volusia County Chair Jeff Brower, plaid shirt, greets supporters at Common Ground Farm in DeLand, before announcing that he will run for re-election to the countywide office in 2024.

Volusia County Chair Jeff Brower, the farmer and political novice who won the countywide seat in 2020 with 57.55 percent of the vote, announced today that he will run again in 2024. Brower said he doesn’t want to leave initiatives that he has started undone.

A crowd of about 50 supporters gathered to hear the announcement at Common Ground Farm in DeLand, where hurricanes Ian and Nicole caused devastating flooding in 2022. Brower blamed fill-and-build development in the vicinity, and used Common Ground’s flooding as an example of the pressing need to find more responsible ways for Volusia County to grow.

So far, Brower faces two opponents in the 2024 county chair race: Don Burnette, the mayor of Port Orange, and auto dealer and former race-car driver Randy Dye.

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Barb and her husband, Jeff, were both born in Kokomo, Indiana, a factory town surrounded by cornfields about 50 miles north of Indianapolis. In 1979, they set out on a road trip that would define their lives, and would end with their taking up residence in DeLand. After working at the DeLand Sun News and the Orlando Sentinel 1979-92, Barb helped found The Beacon, and was appointed publisher and CEO in 2013. Since late 2004, Barb has also managed Conrad Realty Co.’s historic property in Downtown DeLand, where The Beacon is an anchor tenant.


  1. I think we should give him another term… He is working hard and he does have a good agenda… He and I have not always agreed but he has my respect and he does care about the citizens of Volusia County. Jeff Brower is a good man.


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