A handful of candidates already have pre-filed to run for public office in 2018 elections that will appear on Hernando County ballots in the August primary and the November general election.
U.S. House District 11
Rep. Daniel Webster, a Republican from Webster, has filed to seek reelection to the U.S. House of Representatives, and four Democrats have joined the race to try to unseat him. They are: Samuel "Sam" Allen, Tavares; James F. "Jim" Henry, Hernando; Dave Koller, Ocala; and Ronald L. Reid, The Villages.
District 11 covers all of Hernando, Citrus and Sumter counties and part of Marion and Lake counties. The annual salary is $174,000.
Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, has filed for reelection to the state Senate. State senators serve a four-year term and earn $29,697 annually.
Blaise Ingoglia has filed for reelection to his seat in the state House. Ingoglia, who also is head of the state Republican Party, is being challenged by fellow Republican and Spring Hill resident Jeff Stabins, who previously served in the state House and as a Hernando County Commissioner.
State representatives serve a two-year term and earn an annual salary of $29,697.
Hernando County Commission
Two seats are open on the Hernando County Commission.
In District 2, two challengers have filed to run against incumbent commissioner Wayne Dukes, who has been in the seat since 2010.
One is political newcomer Christopher W. Toohey, a Democrat, and the other, a Republican, is Beth Narverud, a Hernando County School Board member who will vacate her seat this year.
In District 4, incumbent commissioner Jeff Holcomb, a Republican who has been in the seat since 2014, will face off against Natalie Kahler, also a Republican, who is leaving her post on the Brooksville City Council.
County commissioners set policy and approve budgets for the county.
They must live in the district where their seat is based, but are elected countywide. They serve four-year terms and make $69,232.
Brooksville City Council
Two candidates have filed to compete in the nonpartisan race for Kahler’s spot, Seat 5 of the Brooksville City Council. One is Frankie Burnett, who was appointed to the council in 2004 and served one term, then was selected by the council to serve a partial term in 2010 and re-elected in 2012. The other is George "Nick" Schillinger, a political newcomer.
Seats 1 and 4 are held by incumbents Robert Battista and Betty Erhard; each has filed for reelection and is so far uncontested. Erhard currently serves as mayor. Battista previously served as the city’s attorney.
City Council members set policy and approve budgets for the city.
Though they run for specific seats, council members are elected at large by all city voters. Council members serve four-year terms and are paid $5,400 a year. One council member is chosen as mayor by fellow members.
Hernando County School Board
The Hernando County School Board has three races on this year’s ballot, and so far, none is contested. District 1 incumbent Mark Johnson filed again for his seat, and District 5 incumbent Susan Duval re-filed for hers. In District 3, only Jimmy Lodato has filed.
Lodato lost three attempts at being elected to the Hernando County Commission.
School board races are nonpartisan. School Board members set policy and approve budgets for the school district. They must live in the community where their seat is based, but are elected countywide. They serve four-year terms and are paid $36,276 per year.
The official qualifying period for local races ends June 22, according to the Hernando County Supervisor of Elections. The primary election will be August 28, and the general election will be November 6.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story indicated a challenger to state Sen. Wilton Simpson in District 10. That challenger is not running this year.