League of Women Voters of Okaloosa and Walton Counties
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2019 Okaloosa Municipal ElectionsCandidate Statements

The following statements were provided by the candidates to the Supervisor of Elections. Due to a quirk of html code, we can’t link directly to each candidate on the
SoE’s website. To read the candidate statements there, click here, then scroll down and click on the candidate’s name.

Use the quick links below to find the races of interest to you.

Crestview
Destin
Fort Walton Beach

City of Crestview

Cynthia Brown
Bill Cox
Andrew Rencich

Cynthia Brown

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my bio. My home town is Crestview. I was blessed to buy a house here in 2016. My original home is Catlettsburg, KY. My background is in ministry, teaching and health care. Currently, my position is Director of the Ronda Coon Women's Home, a transitional living ladies group home. I started there as the House Mother. Other positions over the years have included Adjunct Professor of Communications, health unit coordinator, Recreation Supervisor, Activities Director..

My degrees are from Morehead State University: a BA in Journalism with minors in History and Business Administration and a MA in Communications. I've been able to use all of this throughout my work history.

My family lives all over the place some in Florida, some in various places in Kentucky. The one who has my heart is my nephew. I am single.

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Bill Cox

Councilman Bill Cox has lived in Crestview for 13 years. He and his wife Debbie are formerly from the Cincinnati, Ohio area. He served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve with MOS 3041 Supply Administration and MOS 0431 Embarkation and Logistics Specialist. He was a finishing supervisor 12 years for General Motors Corporation and Navistar International. He has 26 years as an industrial finishing equipment sales manager.

Personal Note: Councilman Cox and his wife Debbie have been married for 12 years. They are a blended family with three grown daughters, two of which live in the local area with two grandchildren and one grown son. I serve the citizens of Crestview and apply legislative votes based on the greater good for the majority of the community. Former Community Service Includes: Columbia-Tusculum Community Council, Cincinnati, Ohio, a founding member. City of Crestview, served on Board of Adjustment and Local Planning Agency Board. Served OWTPO Citizens Advisory Committee. City Representative to: Okaloosa Walton Transportation Planning Organization Board, Northwest Florida Regional Transportation Planning Organization Board, Crestview CRA Board, Florida Metropolitan Planning Organization Advisory Committee (MPOAC) Alternate Delegate for Okaloosa-Walton TPO 2019. Personal: Former member United States Parachute Association, Private Pilot, Former aircraft owner. Former Captain Civil Air Patrol.

Andrew Rencich

My name is Andrew Scott Rencich, I am 32 years old and I have a beautiful wife of 11 years April Rencich and two gorgeous daughters Katelyn (14) and Riley (9). I grew up just outside Chicago in a small town by the name of Valparaiso, IN. My mother Debra and father Darrel Rencich raised me my sister Emily to appreciate what we earn in life and to never accept defeat.

After moving out on my own at the age of 17, I quickly realized the realities of growing up. At 19 after living on my own for two years I was ready for a change in environment and I needed structure. I enlisted in the active duty (AD) US Army on March 14, 2004 as an 11B (Infantry soldier). I elevated quickly through the leadership ranks and transitioned into more demanding roles of responsibility ultimately becoming a Sargent First Class(E-7/SFC) 18F (Special Forces Intel SGT) otherwise known as a US Army Green Beret. After returning from my third combat deployment in 2011. My family and I relocated to Crestview, FL. due to the 7th SFG(A) BRAC realignment to Eglin AFB. Once we purchased our home and stabilized within the community my wife and I stood up our first business AA Tactical Inc. in the spring of 2013. The business was just supposed to be alternate employment for my wife but grew much quicker than expected. After the businesses rapid growth, we determined that the business was a much better solution than my current career path for our family and our way of life. After spending over a decade as US Army AD soldier my vision of finishing out a career within the US armed service started to fade. I decided that I could have much more of an impact within my community by being home with my family. In 2015 I ultimately decided that I would exit the US Army AD Green Beret lifestyle. I mention all of this because the military has made me what I am today. The structure that I sought at the age of 19 had formed me into a person willing to chase my dreams refusing to accept NO or I Can’t as an answer. My successful completion of my enlistment contract on 14 Mar 2018 allowed me to transition away from AD service and into the FL Nation Guard (FLNG) with 14 years of service. The transition into FLNG has given me the time to focus on my family, my business, and my community. The NG will also allow me to complete one of my goals that I set forth on 14 years prior and that is to gain an official retirement for service to our great nation.

During my time within Crestview my family and I have been faced with multiple interactions within the city due to our lifestyle, expectations, business, & investments. These interactions have given me the internal drive to learn the processes and make the community better for my family and everyone that visits, works, or lives within our community. In closing I have decided to focus my energy on fulfilling my aspirations for leadership within the city government. I officially announced my campaign for City Council on 11 April 2018.

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City of Destin

Steven Menchel

As I introduce myself to the citizens of Destin, I frequently get asked why Destin; what have you done in the community and what is your previous background. I would like to answer those questions and invite each of you to call me to learn more about myself and my campaign.

+ Why Destin?

My wife Vivian and I grew up in New Orleans and as a Federal Agent for thirty-eight years I lived and worked in many areas of our great nation. I can remember as a young child traveling through Destin on vacation and telling my parents one day I am going to live here. As frequent visitors to Destin on vacations over the years and for two people who enjoy all water sports, especially fishing and diving Vivian and I decided a long time ago that once we retire Destin was the perfect place for us. We are so blessed to have realized our dream – to live in Destin – and to this day we sometimes find ourselves saying I have to pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming.

+ How long have you lived in Destin?

My wife and I have lived here for 11 years.

+ Once you arrived in Destin what have you done for the community?

Since moving to Destin, my love for Destin and my desire to give back has resulted in me becoming deeply invested in a wide range of activities.

I routinely attend Destin City Council meetings, budget workshops, Okaloosa-Walton Transportation Planning Organization meetings and The Envision Destin Workshops. I have made presentations on numerous occasions at Destin City Council Meetings which resulted in enhancements and improvements in our City. I was previously the Chairman of the City of Destin Public Works/Public Safety Committee. I was previously the Vice Chairman of the Local Planning Agency. I was a member of the City of Destin Bicycle Sub-Committee.

[NOTE – As a result of me being a current Councilman I had to resign from the committees according to City policy]

I participate in the City of Destin Adopt-A-Street program. I participate yearly in the Destin Junior Lifeguard Polar Bear fundraiser. I am an active volunteer with Emerald Coast Hospice. I have appeared on radio and participated in numerous public functions in support of Hospice. I am a member of the Okaloosa County Republican Executive Committee. I am on the Board of Directors of the Okaloosa Citizens Alliance currently serving as the Vice President. I am the President of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Chapter #1428 Fort Walton Beach. I am a member of the Okaloosa County Citizens Emergency Response Team (CERT). I served on the Okaloosa County Time Capsule Committee as part of the Viva 500 Florida program.

+ What is your previous background?

I am a lifelong law enforcement officer and manager with over 38 years of experience. My professional background includes 24 years of executive level managerial experience with the U.S. Customs Service Office of Investigation, The Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Army detailed to the White House Protective Operations. I proudly served three years in the U.S. Army and received an honorable discharge. I commanded a broad range of high-level assignments to include serving as the Assistant to the Special Agent In Charge, Homeland Security in Houston, TX responsible for sensitive and classified operations, management of a large number of employees; the National Program Manager for Covert/Undercover Operations for the U.S. Customs Service at Headquarters in Washington, D.C. responsible for the management of 100+ million dollars and oversight of undercover operations worldwide; the U.S. Customs Chief of Regional Intelligence in New Orleans, LA responsible for real time law enforcement operations in a five state area; and the U.S. Customs Deputy Assistant Regional Commissioner, New Orleans, LA. I supervised the National Management Inspection program and traveled throughout the nation conducting office inspections to insure compliance with policies and procedures. I received numerous honors, awards, and commendations including the Department of Treasury Albert Gallatin Award for Integrity (the Department of Treasury’s highest career service award), the U.S. Customs Service Supervisor of the Year, and the New Orleans Metropolitan Crime Commission Excellence in Supervisory Law Enforcement Award.

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City of Fort Walton Beach

Nathan Kelley
Kirby Locklear
MG Moran

Nathan Kelley

My name is Nathan Kelley. I have been a resident of Okaloosa County since 1999 and worked as a city employee from August 2007 to January 2010. I am currently employed with the City of Valparaiso as the Public Works Director. My duties include overseeing daily operations, projects and programs, monitoring work flow. I am also available to answer technical questions, investigate complaints, recommend corrective action, coordinate staff training and maintain a balanced budget. I also own and operate a successful small landscape company that services both residential and commercial accounts. My work experience has allowed me to maintain a responsible budget by showing fiscal discipline.

Kirby Locklear

Kirby Locklear has resided in Fort Walton Beach since 1992. He is a retired USAF Lt Colonel with 22 years of active duty. Kirby currently works as a Programming Engineer for Bevilacqua Research Corporation.  After obtaining his Master of Arts in Management from Webster University, he went on to acquire a Master of Science in Environmental Science from the University of West Florida. Kirby is actively involved in the community and stays busy spending time with his family.

Kirby and his wife of 26 years, Mary Ann, have enjoyed raising their family in Fort Walton Beach.  They have four children and 8 grandchildren. Running for City Council has become important to Kirby, he is very invested in the community and wants to help make Fort Walton Beach a great place to raise a family.

Kirby was born in Robeson County, NC and grew up in Baltimore, MD. His parents are both of Lumbee American Indian descent and Kirby became very involved in his American Indian heritage at a young age. After high school, Kirby was appointed to the United States Air Force Academy. He became a Navigator and his first assignment in 1980 led him to Fort Walton Beach.  He spent 6 years flying the AC-130H with the 16th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field. After being stationed in Alaska and Illinois, traveling the world on many deployments, logging thousands of flying hours, Kirby decided to make Fort Walton Beach his home. Kirby and Mary Ann moved back to Fort Walton Beach in 1992 and have never left. They raised their family here and they have watched Fort Walton Beach grow into the prosperous city it has become.
Active in our community, Kirby uses his leadership training and love for the area to guide him through a variety of volunteer efforts. His numerous volunteer activities include: leader of the Thunderbird Honor Guard; Vice Chairman of the Thunderbird Intertribal Council; Fort Walton Beach appointed board member of the Fort Walton Beach Historical Structures and Sites Board; American Red Cross of Northwest Florida Emergency Operations Center Coordinator for Okaloosa County (served for Hurricanes Ivan, Dennis, and Katrina). Kirby is also a Sunday School Teacher and Lay Leader at his church, Trinity United Methodist. He continues to support Hurricane Michael relief efforts with the United Methodist Committee of Relief.

MG Moran

My name is M.G. Moran and I am running for Fort Walton Beach City Council. I moved to this area in 1985 gaining employment with Wayne S. Lancaster, where I am still employed and have gotten my State Certified Builders license. My wife and I married in 1990 and have raised two sons in this area. My wife, Kimberly Moran, teaches at Fort Walton Beach High School and we attend First Presbyterian Church of FWB where I have served as an Elder, a Deacon and currently teach Sunday school. I graduated from OWCC, now Northwest Florida State College with A.S. degrees in Construction Management, Architectural Design, and Drafting. I have served the city on the LPA (Local Planning Agency) board from 2013 to March 2015 and served as chairman for 15 months and have served on the city council previously for 2 years. While on the City Council I have served on the West Florida Regional Planning Council and the Florida League of Cities Growth Management and Economic Affairs Policy Board and the legislative group lobbying in Tallahassee, I also supported our resident’s right to privacy and a continued growth of services. The council has set a direction of growth for our city by revitalizing our downtown, working extensively in our Commerce and Technology Park, upgrading the landing and realigning highway 98, all issues I have worked on.

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