PALM COAST – Nick Klufas, the Palm Coast City Council member representing District 3, has filed to run for the Flagler County Commission. Klufas’ intent to run has been known for months, but he’s held off on making it official until this week.
Klufas was first elected to the City Council in 2016, the youngest Councilman ever at age 28. He was re-elected in 2020, and he’ll be prevented from seeking re-election in 2024 by the city’s term limit policy. Klufas has filed as a Republican.
As of now, three other candidates have filed for the District 3 County Commission seat, making it one of the more contested races in the recent history of the board. Klufas faces fellow Republicans Kim Carney and William Clark, as well as NPA candidate Tom Hutson. Of the other three candidates only Carney has held office before, in her case the Flagler Beach City Commission. Incumbent Commissioner David Sullivan has confirmed he will not seek another term after narrowly defeating Carney for re-election in 2020.
There are currently nine declared candidates for the County Commission at-large, the most of any of the county’s elected boards to this point. Alongside the four in the District 3 race, the District 5 election contains Ed Danko, Victor Barbosa, and Pam Richardson, while the District 1 race contains Andy Dance and Fernando Melendez. Dance is the only incumbent commissioner out of the nine candidates.
During his time as a City Council member Klufas served two consecutive years as the city’s Vice Mayor, one of only two Council members to have done so alongside Eddie Branquinho. In his private life, Klufas is a software engineer and Tesla-themed YouTube content creator.
Klufas’ time on the City Council is defined by his place in some of the most important actions that have taken place in that span. Namely, he gave a 3-2 majority to avoid a loosening of the city’s policy on visible commercial vehicles, he participated in the brokerage of an occupancy deal with the Green Lion Cafe in a city-owned restaurant building (and witnessed its ugly demise), and he took part in the addition of multiple cell towers within city limits. Klufas has also been a part of some of the Council’s more contentious moments, finding himself in heated arguments with colleague Ed Danko in the latter’s first year in office. Those instances, however, have become less common over time.