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Maney, decorated veteran and long-serving judge, sworn in as state representative

Devon Ravine
Northwest Florida Daily News

TALLAHASSEE — New District 4 State Rep. Patt Maney was sworn in Tuesday as a member of the 90th session of the Florida House of Representative by Florida Supreme Court Justice Ricky Polston.

Maney will represent the southern part of Okaloosa County. He replaces Rep. Mel Ponder, who has been elected to the Okaloosa County Commission.  

More:Maney advances to general election bid for state rep. seat

Maney defeated several Republican challengers in the August primary and Democrat John Plante in the Nov. 3 general election.

New District 4 State Rep. Patt Maney poses in the Florida House of Representatives chamber with his wife, Caroline, following his swearing in ceremony in Tallahassee on Tuesday. Maney replaced outgoing Rep. Mel Ponder, who has been elected to the Okaloosa County Commission.

Prior to his election Maney served as an Okaloosa County judge for nearly 29 years and was the longest-serving county or circuit judge in Florida’s First Judicial Circuit. 

As a combat-wounded Army veteran, Maney has sought funds from the Legislature to support the Okaloosa Veterans Treatment Court and the new Mental Health Pre-Trial Diversion Pilot Program. He also advocated for the county to fly POW/MIA flags at county buildings and to erect signs recognizing two Medal of Honor recipients in Okaloosa County. Maney was also a driving force in getting a VA Vet Center in Okaloosa County.

As state representative, he said he would work to pass a balanced state budget and then get infrastructure in place to prepare the workforce for the 21st century.

“I’m going to take Northwest Florida values and Northwest Florida courtesy to Tallahassee,” said Maney after his primary victory in August.

More:Patt Maney wins Florida House seat over Democrat John Plante

Maney cast several votes Tuesday, including one to elect Rep. Chris Sprowls as the new speaker of the House. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, new members were limited to one guest, and Caroline Maney was able to observe her husband's swearing-in from the House Gallery.