Benjamin, Edwards, Wiggins only locals to face challengers
By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
The deadline for election qualifying came and went last Friday, November 10, without any late surprises.
Two members of the Escambia County Board of Education, including its presiding officer, will face challenges for their respective seats in the March 5, 2024 Super Tuesday primary, as will the chairman of the Escambia County Commission.
Chief Probate Clerk Natalie Rodgers reported that BOE President and District 2 rep Danny Benjamin, who has been on the school board for 35 years, will be opposed by Greg Dawkins, who has served since 1998 as Internet Technology and Geographic Information Systems Manager for Southern Pine Electric Cooperative.
In the GOP Primary, District 3 BOE member Mike Edwards, who is in his 12th year, will be challenged by Jerry Wilson, who has worked at Georgia Pacific Brewton Mill for 14 years.
The other BOE member up for re-election, District 7’s Coleman Wallace, also in his 12th year, qualified for re-election without opposition.
County Commission Chairman Raymond Wiggins, who has held the District 2 seat since 2008, will also be challenged. Lew Najor, a project manager with disaster mitigation company Crowder Gulf, has qualified to seek Wiggins’s seat.
District 4 County Commissioner Brandon Smith has qualified for a fifth term, and no challengers qualified to run against him.
Probate Judge Doug Agerton, who took office in 2012, also qualified for another six-year term and won’t be opposed, nor will Circuit Judge Jeff White or Clerk of Court John R. Fountain, each of whom qualified for another term.
All the current office holders who are up for re-election are Republicans, except Benjamin, but the District 2 post will be on the GOP and Democratic ballots.