Friday was a busy day for County Commission candidate Randy Brunson, according to information obtained by Historic City News from the office of Penny Halyburton, St. Johns County Supervisor of Elections.
Late Friday afternoon, Brunson made his bid for retiring Commissioner Jim Bryant’s seat (District 5) as St. Johns County moves forward into qualifying week for state, multi-county, county, district and political party executive committee seats.
Friday, Randy Brunson and his wife Carol were out busily completing the steps necessary to accomplish the change from the race in District 3 to District 5.
Brunson will face opposition for the District 5 seat from Ken Bryan who is running as a Republican. Bryan ran two years ago for the District 2 seat, as a Democrat, and was defeated in the general election by sitting Commissioner Ron Sanchez.
Although Brunson submitted a sufficient number of verified petitions on time to avoid payment of a qualifying fee, he did so as a candidate for election to the seat in District 3 — which is currently held by Commissioner Ben Rich. Since Brunson’s seat change comes after the deadline date to submit petitions for verification, he will be required to pay a qualifying fee in the amount of $3,664.62 before the close of the qualification period on Friday.
Gary McMahon, the third announced candidate for the District 5 seat, did not submit a sufficient number of petitions to avoid paying a qualifying fee. Therefore, unless McMahon pays the qualifying fee and meets additional qualifying requirements, he will be out of the race as of Friday. There is speculation that McMahon will withdraw before Friday and further that he may encourage his supporters to unite behind another candidate.
Brunson’s withdrawal from the District 3 race leaves incumbent Ben Rich to face opposition from candidate Mark P. Miner, a Republican who is making his first bid for a commission seat.
Historic City News was in communication with Brunson on Friday as he was between his campaign office, the bank and the Supervisor of Elections office. It is expected that he will make an official announcement during the day on Monday and we will post it on historiccity.com once it is available.