OKEECHOBEE – The 2020 election in Okeechobee County will have a shorter ballot than previous years. In five local races, the incumbent faces no opposition. The qualifying period ended last week with just one candidate each for tax collector, property appraiser, sheriff, school board district 2 and school board district 4.
• Mickey Bandi, who was elected property appraiser in 2016, is unopposed.
• Celeste Watford, who has been Okeechobee County tax collector since 2000, is also unopposed.
• Noel Stephen, elected Okeechobee County sheriff in 2016, is also unopposed.
• Malissa Morgan, who has held the Okeechobee County School Board district 2 seat since 2016, is unopposed.
• Amanda Riedel, who was elected to the Okeechobee County School Board district 4 seat in 2016, is also unopposed.
The Okeechobee County Supervisor of Elections race has the most candidates. Diane Hagan did not seek re-election. Candidates include Melissa Arnold, Donna Howard, Faith Nielson, Lisa Rodriguez, and Rodney Rucks.
In the race for Okeechobee County Clerk of Court and Comptroller, incumbent Sharon Robertson, who has held the position since 1995, is challenged by Jerry Bryant.
All three of the county commission candidates whose terms end this year have opposition.
In the Okeechobee County Commission District 1 race, incumbent David Hazellief is challenged by Mark Brandel. Mr. Hazellief has held the position since 2016.
In the Okeechobee County Commission District 5 race, incumbent Kelly Owens, who was elected to office in 2016, is challenged by Jack Boon.
In the Okeechobee County Commission District 3 race, incumbent Brad Goodbread, who was elected in 2016, is challenged by Demetre Riles.
Two seats will be on the ballot for Okeechobee City Council in the 2020 elections. Monica Clark, who was elected in 2016 and Wes Abney, who was appointed in 2018 to finish the term left vacant by the resignation of Mike O’Connor, will be up for re-election. Candidates must be residents of the City of Okeechobee. The qualifying period opens at noon on Aug. 17 and closes at noon on Aug. 21. City council candidates run as a group and voters may choose up to two names from the list. The two with the most votes will be elected. For more information on how to qualify to run for city council, contact City Clerk Lane Gamiotea at Okeechobee City Hall, 863-763-3372.