1. News
  2. /
  3. Hernando

Hernando voters will have plenty to decide in 2020

Constitutional officers, county and city officials will be on the ballot later this year
Campaign signs sit outside a voting precinct at the Hernando County Utilities Department ahead of the close of polls on a previous primary Election Day. [BY MEGAN REEVES  |  KAREN PETERSON | Times]
Campaign signs sit outside a voting precinct at the Hernando County Utilities Department ahead of the close of polls on a previous primary Election Day. [BY MEGAN REEVES | KAREN PETERSON | Times]
Published Dec. 31, 2019

BROOKSVILLE — The new year will bring big choices for Hernando County voters. They’ll face a full ballot in the fall, not just for federal elections, but also because of numerous local races.

The complete lineup of candidates for public offices won’t be known for months, but some races already are shaping up with a potential for interesting challenges.

County Supervisor of Elections Shirley Anderson listed 139,062 registered voters as 2019 drew to a close. The majority were registered as Republicans — 58,356. Another 42,462 were registered as Democrats, and the remainder, 38,244, had other affiliations.

Not surprisingly, every candidate already pre-qualified in a local, partisan race in the coming year is Republican.

Formal qualifying for candidates running for U.S. Congress, for state attorney, public defender and circuit court judge will be April 20-24. Candidates for local races, including state representatives, local constitutional officers, and county and city elected officials must file formal qualifying documents June 8-12.

Here is a line-up of candidates for Hernando County races potentially on the ballot in the year ahead:

U.S. Congress, District 11: U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster, a Republican, is seeking reelection. He is challenged by Republican Timothy Devine and Democrats Dana Cottrell, James F. Henry and Jeff Rabinowitz, according to state election filing lists.

State representatives for District 34 and 35: These seats are held by state Rep. Ralph Massullo, R-Lecanto, and Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill. Both have filed for reelection. No candidates have filed yet to take on Massullo. Ingoglia has drawn one opponent, a Democrat, Keith G. Laufenberg of Hernando Beach.

State attorney for the Fifth Judicial Circuit: Brad King, a Republican, has filed for reelection and has no opponents at this point.

Circuit judge for the Fifth Judicial Circuit, Seat 22: Circuit Judge George Angeliadis is seeking reelection, and Pamela Vergara is challenging him.

Hernando County Sheriff: Sheriff Al Neinhuis, a Republican, is seeking reelection. He is challenged by two other Republicans, James Terry and Chad M. Moore.

Hernando County Clerk of the Circuit Court, Property Appraiser, Tax Collector and Supervisor of Elections: The other four Hernando County constitutional officers, Clerk of the Circuit Court Doug Chorvat, Property Appraiser John Emerson, Tax Collector Sally Daniel and Anderson, all Republicans, have pre-filed for reelection. None currently faces opposition.

Hernando County Commission, District 1: District 1 Commissioner John Mitten was appointed to the job by former Gov. Rick Scott to complete the term of Nick Nicholson, who was suspended after his arrest on prostitution-related charges. Mitten is not expected to seek another term. Three Republicans have pre-filed for the seat — Mark Johnson, Beth Narverud and Joseph “Joe” Swilley Sr.

Hernando County Commission, District 3: Incumbent Commissioner John Allocco has pre-filed for reelection and is challenged by fellow Republican Burton Melaugh.

Hernando County Commission, District 5: Incumbent Commissioner Steve Champion has pre-filed for reelection. He has one opponent, also a Republican, Kevin Hohn.

Hernando County School Board, District 4: Incombent board member Gus Guadagnino currently is the only candidate who has pre-filed.

Brooksville City Council, Seat 3: Two candidates have filed for the seat which will be vacated by William Kemerer. They are David Wayne Bailey and Thomas Glen Dye.

Hernando County Judge: Incumbent Kurt E. Hitzemann has pre-filed for reelection and currently does not face any opposition.

The 2020 presidential preference primary for Florida is March 17.

The primary election will be August 18, and the general election will be November 3.

For more information on voter registration and the election process, including voter registration deadlines and details on how to get vote-by-mail ballots, visit the county elections site at:


  1. Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis
  2. Hernando officials will close the Spring Hill recycling center at Walmart due to too much contamination of materials.
  3. Brian Davison is chief executive officer of Equialt, which bought this Safety Harbor home in a tax deed sale. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission contends in a new lawsuit that EquiAlt is a Ponzi scheme, and Davison has diverted investor funds for his own lavish personal spending. Times (2015)
  4. Associate professor of biology Caitlin Gille leads the Pasco-Hernando State College faculty union, which challenged the school's public comment rules.  (Photo Courtesy of Caitlin Gille)
  5. Jacqueline Ortiz and Francisco Medero were the first couple to exchange wedding vows during a special Valentine's Day ceremony held in historic Courtroom 1 at the Hernando County Courthouse in Brooksville. County judges Kristie Healis (pictured) and Kurt Hitzemann took turns officiating the ceremonies that were scheduled at 15-minute intervals throughout the day.
  6. Iriann Paynewhite of Dade City enjoys a ride on a lady bug on opening day at the Pasco County Fair. The fair continues through Feb. 23 at the county fairgrounds in Dade City.
  7. Hernando County community news
  8. Luis Espel, 22, uses the Cass Street bike lane to commute to work in Tampa. Times (2019)
  9. Handsome Boy, Harry, Sasha and Eden are looking for their forever homes.
  10. Adisa Dzudza-Sunjic, MD, (on left) and Carla J. Danesi, registered and licensed dietitian, have joined Access Health Care Physicians.
  11. Artist's rendering of the proposed new Hernando County government center which could be built at the Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport.
  12. Country crooner Doug Stone headlines this weekend's Florida Bluegrass Classic at Florida Classic Park in eastern Brooksville. Stone performs at 8:30 p.m. Feb. 22. He is known for hits such as "I’d Be Better Off (In a Pine Box)" and "A Jukebox With a Country Song."