One of the area's newest state representatives is getting to know a little bit about one of the counties he'll be representing.
Halsey Beshears spent the day touring Gulf County. The Monticello Republican picked-up Gulf County from Jimmy Patronis in this year's legislative redistricting.
In fact, Patronis set-up Wednesday's tour to help Beshears learn the ropes of the new legislative district.
The tour included the port area in Port St. Joe, and Gulf Correctional Institution in Wewahitchka. The warden showed both men a couple of the new innovative inmate dorm programs, and urged them not to support additional Department of Corrections funding cuts.
Rep. Beshears commented later, "My take-away from this is that these guys need some help. They're short handed. What they do is dangerous, it's difficult, and it's very much under-appreciated too. They provide a great service to the community."
Patronis said the prison showed him the extra staff was really needed. "I didn't really find any big concerns other than that there's definitely some staffing issues here that I could see some realities in which extra staff would be good."
Beshears owns a nursery in Monticello. This is his first term in office and he's about to attend his first legislative session next spring.