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2024 Election

Palm Coast Vice Mayor Ed Danko to Run for County Commission

ⓒ AskFlagler

PALM COAST – Ed Danko, the Vice Mayor and District 1 representative on the Palm Coast City Council, has confirmed that he will be running for County Commission in 2024. He will run for the District 5 seat, which is currently held by Commissioner Donald O’Brien.

Danko will not be facing O’Brien for the seat, as O’Brien has announced he will instead campaign for the Florida House of Representatives slot being vacated by a term-limited Paul Renner. O’Brien, a Republican, is up against Republican challengers Darryl Boyer and James St. George, as well as Democrat Adam Morley.

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Danko, also a Republican, is the first candidate to file for the District 5 Commission seat as of the time of his announcement. Former County Commissioner George Hanns is also expected to run, but has not filed. Fellow Councilman Nick Klufas is also widely expected to run for the District 3 seat, and has also yet to officially file.

Danko’s District 1 seat drew two filed challengers before he even announced he’d be vacating it – former mayoral candidate Kathy Austrino, and realtor Jamaris Dornan. Danko would’ve been permitted to run for re-election if he’d wanted to; City Council members are allowed two four-year terms by the city charter and Danko has only served one. He may still run for a second, no consecutive term in the future if he one day chose to.

Danko led off his announcement with a succinct motivation for running: “We are growing fast and I am confident I can provide the strong leadership necessary to manage Flagler’s growth sensibility.” He referenced the illustrative talking point from his 2020 campaign that he’d drink anti-freeze before voting for a tax hike. The amount of anti-freeze Danko has consumed over four years is unknown, but the assertion that he has resisted tax increases and tax rate increases over his first term is largely true. The caveat to this claim is that, where Danko credits himself with helping convince the Council not to endorse a half-cent sales tax at the county level, he has at times been unsuccessful in lobbying to prevent other tax hikes, such as the annual millage rate decision.

Still, Danko’s first term (the first two years in particular) was often discussed for his strong words and even insults to his colleagues on occasion. He drifted back to that in his statement, saying his fellow Council members “turned their backs on God” by voting against sanctioned prayer at Council meetings. Danko had supported that initiative, and evidently took a degree of personal offense to his colleagues’ difference of opinion.

In a similar vein, Danko harked on a common campaign promise of Florida Governor and presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, saying he would “fight to keep this liberal brainwashing away from our children and out of Flagler County”. The point was in reference to a question on a recent survey by the city that asked for residents’ gender identity. The question was optional, but the Council generally agreed that it wasn’t a necessary inclusion. “The WOKE agenda is creating a world where our children are taught to question the very foundation of reality,” he continued.

Danko’s release ended on a more tempered note, listing his resume and advocating that the county work to attract high-paying jobs and further embrace conservative leadership. All current members of the County Commission are Republicans.

The decision to run for County Commission had been a rumored inclination of Danko’s for some time, but the Vice Mayor has consistently held that he was weighing a re-election campaign or state legislature bid as other options, or else taking time off to support other candidates. He made himself known in the 2022 election cycle supporting state House candidate Scotty Moore and former Commissioner Joe Mullins in their own campaigns. Now, Danko will put his first four years in office to the test to see if residents are ready to give him a promotion.

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. No f’ing way

    June 12, 2023 at 2:35 pm

    He will never make it. See he forgets he’s been a pig to everyone in this town. At restaurants, bars, city council meetings and to his own former wife. To those who supported him in the past to people who bump into his drunk self in public. No sir, the public never forgets. They are ready to send him packing and no amount of his fake republican rhetoric is going to save him this time. See you later little dude. Also don’t role up in here and tell us you can manage development when you’ve made a deal with Mike and chamber to bring more in if they help you get this seat. We’re not dumb. Keep your big red yes stamp at home.

  2. The dude

    June 12, 2023 at 3:09 pm

    And Flagler county voters are stupid enough to elect him.

    A match made in heaven…

  3. The Truther

    June 13, 2023 at 11:20 am

    I hope Flagler County Voters ask what has Danko done for the city of Palm Coast
    In all the years he was a politician for the tax payers. Ask the Palm Coasters how they feel about him running for commissioner in Flagler County.

  4. Bruces

    July 7, 2023 at 7:16 pm

    Once again a bad character has no respect for anyone
    including his girlfriend. I feel sorry for her, to good looking to be with him. He picks fights with co council man present and past picks with residents while i do respect him for serving in the service
    its time people get smart at the rate we going we better with 5 families from the mob at lease they will protect the citizens
    person is a animal

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