District 2 Commissioner Mark Banks will not seek re-election

By Chris Bridges - the Walton Tribune

Mark Banks has served Walton County in a variety of ways for decades.

The Walton County. District 2 commissioner will be calling it a career political wise following the end of his current term. 

“I’m 68 now,” Banks said with a laugh. “I am also going to be moving out of the district.”

District 2 Walton County Commissioner Mark Banks. Contributed photo

Banks has been a member of the Walton County Tax Assessors Board and then was a member of the Walton County Board of Education.

“I have enjoyed working with everyone,” Banks said.

John Wiemels and Stoney Brandon have already declared their candidacy for the District 2 seat. Banks said he knows of others who are planning to run and that he is going to make an endorsement but wanted his choice to make his campaign public first.

“The last time I ran for re-election I said it was going to be my last time,” Banks said.

The District 2 commissioner, who will continue serving on the BOC for the remainder of 2024, said he is proud of several accomplishments during his time on the BOC.

“Drawing Rivian here was a big deal,” Banks said. “People always told me we need good jobs in Walton County. Still, we’ve been fought tough and nail over it.”

A county water treatment plant was also something Banks felt was vital for Walton. 

“Before we bought water from all over,” he said. “You are hung out to dry without your own water source.”

A new jail is also important.

“The first year I was on board we looked at new jails,” Banks said. “It took a while but we finally got a new one.”

Going to a county manager form of government has also been a plus for Walton, according to Banks.

“John Ward is a great asset for Walton County,” Banks said.

Former long-time Walton County Schools District Board of Education member Coy Baker first encouraged Banks to run for the BOE. Banks said he didn’t think he had the necessary education.

“Coy told me you just had to have common sense,” Banks said. “God has blessed with me a lot of life and after cancer surgery in 2005 it makes you appreciate the little things. My family is certainly at the top of my priority list. Have I made some mistakes? Sure. Being on boards as long as a I have you are going to. At the time you have go with what information you have.

Banks, who was named an Unsung Hero by The Walton Tribune several years ago, said he will be able to spend even more time with his grandchildren now.

Mark and his wife, Sheila, have three daughters: April, Dori and Brittany. They also have six grandchildren. He can also be seen fishing and loves to travel and play golf.

Banks has always tried to keep life’s priorities in order.

“Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life,” is one of his favorite quotes.

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