When the St Johns County voters elected Clerk of Court, Hunter Conrad, they did so over a more experienced chief deputy who was already in office, George Larue. Now Conrad has turned his back on those voters, surrendering his elected office a year early. He has accepted an appointed position made vacant after the abrupt firing of the embattled County Administrator; a controversial move made without advance public notice.
Conrad, who is finishing the negotiation of his new four-year contract, including a $211,000 per year salary, plus benefits, has appointed his former chief deputy to serve with him in county administration.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, also a St Johns County resident, appointed Brandon Patty, chairman of the local Republican Party, to act as St Johns County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller through the remainder of Conrad’s unexpired term. Patty has never held an elected public office. Patty has also not declared that he intends to run for election to his currently appointed public office.
Nonetheless, Patty has done something besides changing all the stationery and name on the website since his appointment. He announced yesterday that he has appointed Mark Partridge Miner to serve as his chief deputy clerk. Historic City News will be watching to see if Miner can resist driving by the Supervisor of Elections office between now and the close of qualifying week without declaring his own bid for Clerk.
There is one more set of appointments that residents should recall. Miner holds the record as the youngest elected commissioner in St Johns County. He was supposed to represent District 3 for four years during his 2008 to 2012 term; however, he also walked away from his office — not once, but twice.
Ray Quinn was appointed by Governor Charlie Crist to fill Miner’s responsibilities on the commission while he pursued his interests with the Florida National Guard from January 2010 to 2011.
In 2016, Scott appointed Miner to a vacant seat on the board of the St Augustine St Johns County Airport Authority.
Miner, who is now 36 years old, has been in the Florida National Guard since 2002. In the private sector, he previously held a recruiting position at CSX railroad and was later a financial adviser for Edward Jones. Today, as chief deputy, Miner is responsible to the clerk for overall operations of the office, including all work, projects, personnel organization, technology and public information efforts.