Municipal elections on the horizon

ballot box nwfdn
FILE PHOTO | Northwest Florida Daily News
Published: Monday, December 3, 2012 at 04:11 PM.

FORT WALTON BEACH  — Voters who are ready for a break from state and national elections might be surprised to learn that municipal contests are just around the corner.

In Okaloosa County, candidate hopefuls are pre-filing for a long list of local offices from Laurel Hill to Shalimar.

Niceville voters will head to the polls Jan. 22 for a special election, while voters in Fort Walton Beach, Shalimar, Cinco Bayou, Crestview and Laurel Hill will cast ballots March. 12.

Interest generated by the recent presidential election does not necessarily translate into a high turnout for local races, said Okaloosa County Supervisor of Elections Paul Lux.

“It really depends on who’s running and if people are really energized about getting a particular individual elected or keeping someone from getting elected,” he said. “Like a lot of things, it really, truly depends on candidates and issues.”

Lux cited Laurel Hill, which is considering placing a referendum on the ballot to dissolve the city.

“In Laurel Hill, they’ve only got about 350 registered voters in the city, but a referendum … is bound to draw a lot more attention,” he said.

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