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2024 Election

Field Set for 2024 Flagler County Elections

ⓒ AskFlagler

With the passing of the qualifying deadline on Friday at noon, Flagler County voters officially know who will appear on their ballots later this year in the primary and general elections. Five of the races that would’ve been on the ballot for all Flagler voters, the county’s constitutional officers, were decided on Friday when only one candidate filed for each race.

The Palm Coast City Council also locked in its field, with five candidates qualifying for the mayoral ballot and seven making the ballot for two City Council elections. The field for this year’s county-level races is considerably smaller per seat, with several only drawing two qualified candidates. That was not the case for any Palm Coast race.

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Also uncontested was the race for Seat 2 on the East Flagler Mosquito Control Commission. Incumbent Commissioner Mike Martin filed for re-election, and a challenger appeared on the Supervisor of Elections database – Janice Starks. However, Starks did not qualify before the deadline and so Martin automatically wins another term.

The candidates who qualified for Flagler County’s countywide elections are as follows:

Flagler County Commission, District 1

The qualified candidates for Flagler County Commission, District 1, arranged alphabetically by surname: Andy and Fernando Melendez. © Candidate Photos

  • Andy Dance (incumbent)
  • Fernando Melendez

County Commissioner Andy Dance is waging his first re-election campaign after being elected to the seat easily in 2020, besting Corinne Hermle. He made the transition to the County Commission after years on the Flagler School Board, being re-elected in some cases without drawing a challenger. This time he isn’t so lucky: he faces Fernando Melendez, a former Chair of the Flagler County Planning & Development Board. Melendez ran unsuccessfully for Palm Coast City Council in 2022, narrowly losing out to Cathy Heighter.

Flagler County Commission, District 3

The qualified candidates for Flagler County Commission, District 3, arranged alphabetically by surname: Kim Carney, Bill Clark, Nick Klufas, and Jose Rodriguez Fabiani. © Candidate Photos

  • Kim Carney
  • Bill Clark
  • Nick Klufas
  • Jose Rodriguez Fabiani (write-in)

The field for the District 3 race on the County Commission is the most packed of any county-wide race this year. There are no incumbent amongst the four qualified candidates, though two have held other local offices. Kim Carney is a former Flagler Beach City Commissioner who narrowly lost to outgoing Commissioner David Sullivan in 2020, and then came up short in the Flagler Beach Mayor election the following year. Bill Clark is a Flagler Beach resident with experience in conservation making his first bid for office in Flagler County. Nick Klufas is a Palm Coast City Council member who’s served since 2016, and who’s being term-limited out of office at the end of the year. Jose Rodriguez Fabiani is a write-in candidate who won’t appear by name on the ballot, who claims 42 years of experience in the U.S. Army.

Flagler County Commission, District 5

The qualified candidates for Flagler County Commission, District 5, arranged alphabetically by surname: Ed Danko, Michael McElroy, and Pam Richardson. © Candidate Photos

  • Ed Danko
  • Michael McElroy (write-in)
  • Pam Richardson

Only two of the three qualified candidates for the Flagler County Commission’s District 5 will appear by name on the ballot, with the other being a write-in. One who will appear is Ed Danko, a first-term member of the Palm Coast City Council. Danko chose to run for County Commission instead of seeking re-election. Michael McElroy is the lone write-in candidate, and one who still hasn’t released much material relating to his campaign. Pam Richardson is a former candidate for Palm Coast City Council in 2016, who was bested by Nick Klufas. She works as a realtor and serves as Chair of the Flagler County Cultural Council.

Flagler School Board, District 3

The qualified candidates for Flagler School Board, District 3, arranged alphabetically by surname: Derek Barrs and Janie Ruddy. © Candidate Photos

  • Derek Barrs
  • Janie Ruddy

The race for District 3 on the Flagler School Board will decide who replaces the outgoing Colleen Conklin, one of Flagler’s longest-serving elected officials who opted not to run for another term. One candidate is Derek Barrs, a retired Florida Highway Patrol Chief with decades of law enforcement experience. The other is Janie Ruddy, a former teacher and academic coach within the Flagler school system.

Flagler School Board, District 5

The qualified candidates for Flagler School Board, District 5, arranged alphabetically by surname: Lauren Ramirez and Vincent Sullivan. © Candidate Photos

  • Lauren Ramirez
  • Vincent Sullivan

Two candidates will vie to replace Cheryl Massaro on the School Board, after she chose not to run for a second term. Massaro is backing Lauren Ramirez, a medical instructor who owns Salus Medical Training in Palm Coast. Meanwhile, she’s also served as a member of the Parent Teacher Organization at Belle Terre Elementary School. Running against her is Vincent Sullivan, an attorney with Chiumento Law, one of the largest law firms serving the Flagler County area. Sullivan is a partner at Chiumento, specializing in real estate and civil litigation.

East Flagler Mosquito Control Commission, Seat 1

The qualified candidates for East Flagler Mosquito Control Commission Seat 1, arranged alphabetically by surname: Julius ‘Jules’ Kwiatkowski and Perry Mitrano. © Candidate Photos

  • Julius ‘Jules’ Kwiatkowski (incumbent)
  • Perry Mitrano

Though it’s often one of the least-covered aspects of the local ballot, the races for Mosquito Control seats have a tendency to consistently draw a matchup. Julius ‘Jules’ Kwiatkowski is running for another term on the Board, having served for well over a decade. Challenging him is Perry Mitrano, the current Chair of Flagler County GOP. Mitrano has run for Mosquito Control before, but has yet to win a seat.

East Flagler Mosquito Control Commission, Seat 3

The qualified candidates for East Flagler Mosquito Control Commission Seat 3, arranged alphabetically by surname: Lance Alred and Ralph Lightfoot. © Candidate Photos

  • Lance Alred
  • Ralph Lightfoot (incumbent)

The race for Seat 3 on the Mosquito Control Commission is between incumbent Ralph Lightfoot and challenger Lance Alred. This is Alred’s second run for office, having made an unsuccessful bid for Flagler School Board in 2022. Lightfoot is running for a second term, having been initially elected in 2020.

Written By

Chris Gollon is a Flagler County resident since 2004, as well as a staple of the local independent music scene and avid observer of Central Florida politics, arts, and recreation.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Just wondering

    June 19, 2024 at 2:45 am

    Just wondering why this article does not list the mayoral candidates

  2. Mike Brown

    June 19, 2024 at 2:46 pm

    How many of you have passed a Background check recently?
    How many of you will submit to a random Drug test?
    How many of you males served in the military?

    • TR

      June 21, 2024 at 7:49 am

      Mike Brown, Serving in the military isn’t a requirement to run for a position. Not sure what difference it would make if any one running served in the military? Also not sure why you only asked if the male candidates served in the military? In case you didn’t know this is 2024 and woman are also serving in today’s military and have been for decades, which makes your question IMO discriminatory.

      Good luck to all the candidates for the seat they are running for.

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