Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Everett Phillips, After a Clean Election Campaign, Regains His County 5 Seat

Mr. Phillips has broken the Rocky Ford, Robby Hollingsworth, Toby Witt County 5 voting block.

Everett Phillips after filing his papers to run
On March 2, 2022, Everett Phillips on the steps of the Supervisor of Elections office after filing his papers to run. | Columbia County Observer photo and graphic

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Last night, after the polls closed, all county eyes were on the race between former County Commissioner Everett Phillips and the man who beat him four years ago, Toby Witt. By the end of the evening, Everett Phillips did what few thought he would do: he was reelected to his old District 4 seat.

Mr. Phillips had been talking about regaining his seat on the County 5 for some time.

link to columbia county election resultsOn March 2, 2022, he filed his running papers with the Supervisor of Elections. There was no entourage, fanfare, or drum roll, just a quick photo on the steps of the SOE office where your reporter memorialized the event.

Mr. Phillips was concerned about Columbia County. He didn't like many of the things that he saw. If one spoke with Mr. Phillips, you were not going to hear about national politics or Florida politics.

Mr. Phillips is not a flashy guy or a career politician. His roots go back generations in the County. Mr. Phillips and his people were hard workers who didn't walk around with their hands out, expecting special favors.

He ran for public office because he thought people should get a square shake.

He didn’t go out of his way to violate Florida’s sunshine law, which is common practice in Columbia County. The law prohibits discussions among officials from talking among themselves about County business.

By his election, Mr. Phillips has broken the Rocky Ford, Robby Hollingsworth, Toby Witt County 5 voting block.

Last night, the quiet guy won his seat back.

In other county election news, Hunter Peeler and Elizabeth Porter, two first-line politicians, will be fighting it out for the District 5 school board seat. Walmart executive Zach Paulk, the non-politician in the race, was eliminated. Both Mr. Peeler and Ms. Porter have their eyes on future prospects, making this an interesting race to watch.

Lake City’s District 10 Council race had Chavella Reed Young whipping Anna Eversole and Shaun Holmgren. Many are concerned about community activist Sylvester Warren's influence on Ms. Young. However, Ms. Young, a local preacher, appears to be driven by God; people will be keeping a close eye on her.

Lake City’s District 14 race had Befaithful Coker squaring off against Ricky Jernigan. Mr. Jernigan ran away with the race with 74% of the vote.

Activist Warren also promoted Mr. Jernigan, and folks will be keeping an eagle eye on him.

In this election cycle, Mr. Jernigan, who always returned phone calls in the past, did not return this reporter’s calls.

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