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The Deadline Has Come and Gone. Who's Left?

HERNANDO – A lot has happened with Hernando County Politics and today. Here's what we know.

District 1 Commissioner Beth Narverud (R) thought she might be able to hold on to her seat without a fight until newcomer Ryan Amsler (R) filed to run against her earlier this week. Anthony Arenz withdrew from the race after Amsler announced he would be running.

Incumbent for the District 3 seat John Allocco (R) also believed there would be nothing standing in his way until Marvin Bayhnam (R) began campaigning and sharing his conservative vision for the future of Hernando County. Two other candidates have also qualified to run against Allocco, Burton Melaugh (NPA) and Luciano Vignali (D).

Two candidates have qualified to run against District 5 Commissioner Steve Champion. Kathleen Cummings (D) and Pamela Everett (R) who many say is not a true conservative after she endorsed School Board Candidate Susan Duval in the 2022 Election.

Three candidates remain in the races for Property Appraiser; Kevin Jonston (R), Randolph Mazourek (R), and Seth Noe, a write-in candidate who filed at the last minute.

Probably the biggest news in Hernando County is that Sheriff Al Nienhuis will now have to put up a strong fight against Conservative Republican Joe Puglia, after Puglia walked into the Supervisor of Elections Office just minutes before the noon deadline today and completed the qualification process. Rumor has it that the Nienhuis camp had a write-in candidate standing by in case Puglia qualified. Now the election will be decided on August 20th in the Primary election, without a write-in candidate muddying the waters.

Commissioner Brian Hawkins' (R) wife will be the next District 2 School Board member. Kayce Hawkins will replace longtime Democrat Linda Prescott, giving conservatives a 3:2 advantage on the school board. A third candidate, Jennifer Sullivan, did not qualify.

The District 4 School Board Seat started with six candidates but the only ones to qualify after today's deadline are Michelle Bonczek, Mark Cioffi, and Gregg Laskoski.

In Citrus County, David Vincent (R) qualified to run against the incumbent Sheriff Mike Prendergast.

In Pasco County, Sheriff Chris Nocco is now unopposed and will remain Sheriff for another term.


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