St. Johns County Supervisor of Elections, Penny Halyburton, and Assistant Supervisor Vicky Oakes, spoke to Historic City News Editor Michael Gold today; as they worked on their last election together before Halyburton retires on August 31st.
Senator Tony Hill announced that he would resign his office early to work for Mayor Alvin Brown; after Brown became Jacksonville’s first Democratic Mayor in two decades — and its first ever African American Mayor.
Hill’s resignation has triggered a Special Primary Election that will be held in about a month; on September 20, 2011. There will also be a Special General Election the following month; on October 18, 2011.
Halyburton told Gold that she has never held a job outside of the Elections Office during her adult life. Halyburton recalled that when she went to work for Supervisor Margaret Ellzey, she was only 17 years-old and her salary was $1.00 per hour.
“I try not to show it,” Halyburton said. “But, until any election is over, I don’t get a lot of sleep.” She said that she is glad to be working with Oakes on this last election, as she has for over 20 years in the past. Halyburton has endorsed Oakes to Governor Rick Scott with hopes that he will appoint Oakes as Supervisor after her retirement.
When asked if Halyburton plans to come back to the office to work on future elections after she retires, she emphatically responded, “No.”
The Supervisor has no regrets — she told us that she has every confidence in the loyal members of her staff to carry on when she leaves. Oakes said that her commitment is “to make Penny proud”.
Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News staff photographer