Getting elected to office requires three fundamental elements: having a mentor, a strong support system, and knowing your community. Not to say this is all you need but like with any solid three-legged stool, it’s the foundation.

As Friday’s 2024 election cycle qualifying period closed, the day became an example of why good, honest leadership with integrity is so important.

Suzanne Johnston has led the Tax Collector’s Office for nearly 20 years, setting the bar for excellence when it comes to government work. Her staff is friendly, efficient and willing to go the extra mile to help the community. Training up those who will follow in her footsteps, among them Shelly Edmonson, Johnston knows the office will be in good hands after her retirement this year. Running unopposed in her first election cycle, Edmonson was elected on June 14, 2024 as Flagler County’s next tax collector.

“I want to thank God, my family, friends, and the community. I am humbled by the trust bestowed to me by all my supporters, including Mrs. Suzanne Johnston. She has prepared me to step into this role, day one, and deliver results to the residents of Flagler County. She has built and will leave behind an amazing legacy. She is not just an elected official; she is an institution! She spent 55 years serving the residents of Flagler County with great success. She will leave big shoes for me to fill. For now, I will continue my role in the organization as Operations Manager, supporting Mrs. Johnston throughout the remainder of her term,” said Edmonson.

“As your newly elected Tax Collector, I pledge to continue our office’s standard of exceptional customer service and saving millions of dollars through ever increasing efficiency. I am very excited and look forward to working hard for our residents and continuing the great work that Mrs. Johnston has established,” she said.

The day closed out weeks of contentious jockeying for positions on the ballot by seasoned elected officials, eternal candidates, and newcomers out to make a name for themselves on social media as the region stretches its legs and deals with growing pains.

As expected, the Flagler County Constitutional Officers were a shoo in, keeping jobs that while powerful, are mostly low key when it comes to making headlines. Similar results kept Seventh Circuit State Attorney RJ Larizza and Public Defender Matt Metz in their respective positions.

When the clock struck twelve, the final list was revealed as such by the Flagler County Supervisor of Elections:


The Upper Deck  

Speculation spread like wildfire on who would actually qualify for the open seats at the state level over the past week and was finally put to rest on Friday.

Florida House of Representatives (HD19) drew only three qualified candidates – Flagler County local Republican Darryl Boyer, and new to the community Republican Sam Greco, who will face each other on August 20th in the primary with the winner facing St. Johns County resident, Democratic environmentalist Adam Morley in the general election this November.

The Florida Senate District 7 seat up for grabs will see a matchup between Ormond Beach resident and Florida State Representative Tom Leek, Ponte Vedra’s Gerry James, and former St. Johns County Sheriff David Shoar on the Republican ballot for August 20th, with a faceoff against George Anthony Hill II in the Democrat camp this November.

At the federal level, incumbent U.S. Congressman Mike Waltz (FL-6) has drawn a qualified opponent from each party along with a write in candidate, Richard Paul Dembinsky in his race, while 10 candidates are vying to edge out U.S. Senator Rick Scott.

The public will have the opportunity to meet many of the candidates on the August 20, 2024 primary election ballot at the Flagler Tiger Bay Club Candidate Meet & Greet on June 27, 2024 from 5:30 – 8:30 PM at the Palm Coast Community Center.

Voters will also be able to register to vote at the Flagler County Supervisor of Elections station on site and update/verify their information ahead of the primary and general elections.

A live broadcast with WNZF NewsRadio will take place starting at 6 PM and continue through the Presidential Debate scheduled for 9 PM that evening.