Santa Rosa County voters elected a new Republican state committeeman on Tuesday, with David Farrow securing 52% of the vote (12,140 votes) to beat challenger Lonnie Hawkins, who got 48% of the vote (11,010 votes).
Farrow will replace outgoing state committeeman Martin Simmons, who did not seek re-election this year. Farrow will serve a four-year term, and the position is unpaid.
“I was excited (to win), and the most important thing I want to say is, really, thanks to all the Republicans that voted for me,” he told the News Journal on Wednesday. “I pray that I will be an asset to all the Republicans in Santa Rosa County and that I will act in a manner that will put Santa Rosa on the map very visibly, in a positive way.”
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Each county in Florida has a Republican state committeeman and a committeewoman. Democrats have committee people, too, though they are elected by the county party’s executive committee, not the voters.
Santa Rosa County’s Republican state committeewoman, Patty Burke, had no challengers and automatically retained her seat.
The state committeeman and committeewoman are responsible for acting as the middleman between the county and state parties. Barrow said it’s his job now to travel to the state party’s quarterly meetings, at his own expense, and relay ideas from the county party to the state party, and vice versa.
“I take concerns and issues from Santa Rosa County to the Republican Party at the state level, and we work to bring all the counties together as one,” he said. “The state, in turn, gives us information on things that they’re looking forward to doing, and we give input on whether we like it or not.”
Barrow said he also works to convince the county’s independent voters to vote for Republican candidates and causes. He also will work to get Santa Rosa County to vote for President Donald Trump in the November election.
Annie Blanks can be reached at [email protected] or 850-435-8632.