© 2023 WFSU Public Media
WFSU News · Tallahassee · Panama City · Thomasville
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Leon County Commissioner Brian Welch files for re-election

A bald man in a windbreaker is writing on a ledge with an American flag behind him and voting brochures in a display beside him
Welch family
/
Facebook (with permission of Brian Welch)
Brian Welch filed Tuesday for re-election in 2024

Leon County Commissioner Brian Welch filed for re-election on Tuesday. It’s a bit early to file for the 2024 race, but Welch has his reasons.

He was first elected in 2020 to represent District 4, the northeastern part of the county. Then a political unknown, his victory over long-term commissioner Bryan Desloge was a shock. For next year’s election, he filed early to reach people who are open or already committed to his candidacy.

“I waited till after the cycle of ‘22 ended," he said, "to give myself as much runway as possible to garner as much support as I can and try to distill as much of my narrative as I can ahead of any potential opponents.”

A teacher at Chiles High, Welch says he’s made protecting the district’s quality of life his top priority. He voted in favor of the Northeast Gateway, intended to relieve traffic congestion, and the Northeast Park. He says his vote against the controversial measure to fund stadium repairs and improvements at Florida State University’s Doak Campbell Stadium was just common sense.

“To me, the Doak Campbell vote was probably the least fiscally responsible thing that we could do as a government, which is pretty much a conservative position," he said.

Also filing early: Leon County School Superintendent Rocky Hanna. He posted on Facebook that his work is not yet finished. The nearly two-year interruption imposed by the pandemic put several priorities on hold, he wrote, “and I am committed to finishing the job I started in 2016.”

Follow @MargieMenzel

Margie Menzel covers local and state government for WFSU News. She has also worked at the News Service of Florida and Gannett News Service. She earned her B.A. in history at Vanderbilt University and her M.S. in journalism at Florida A&M University.