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Bay County officials await “Governor’s decision”on vacant commissioner seat

Following former Commissioner Keith Baker's arrest, we take a look at how the Bay County Commission will move forward including filling Baker's seat.
Following former Commissioner Keith Baker's arrest, we take a look at how the Bay County Commission will move forward including filling Baker's seat.(Jarell Baker)
Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 12:57 AM CDT
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG) -

Last week, Keith Baker resigned from his position as Bay County Commissioner after being arrested for worker’s compensation fraud and other charges. Now many are wondering what’s next for the vacant commission seat.

“Plain and simple it’s in the Governor’s decision area. We provided options that our office made available dates or other issues so everyone is on the same sheet on what’s out there and what is available,” said Bay County Supervisor of Elections Mark Anderson.

Andersen said the Governor can appoint someone to serve the rest of Baker’s term, which ends in 2022. However since Baker served slightly less than 28 months, Andersen said the Governor could decide to hold a special election.

“It’ll go on our general election (November) as a special primary. Again that’s if the Governor orders the election,” said Andersen.

Andersen said they would have a special general election at a later date. He said it’s also possible they could have a special run-off election to fill the seat, but nothing has been decided yet.

“If we move in that direction and get an election scheduled then, that would give them an office to run for,” said Andersen. “Until there is an office to run for, there is nothing in it. Moving forward they can come in and qualify for the future year in the regular term.”

He said Baker’s remaining term will hit the 28 month mark in three weeks, so they’re expecting to hear from the Governor soon.

Bay County Officials say business will go on for the commission as usual and if they do have a tie for a vote on a bill, the motion will fail.

Copyright 2020 WJHG. All rights reserved.

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