Special called election approved to fill Baker’s seat on Walton County BOE

By stephen milligan - the walton tribune

The Walton County Board of Education announced its plans to fill the empty District 1 seat on the board at its most recent monthly board meeting.

The board voted last month to accept the resignation of District 1 board member Simoan Capers Baker,
who was announced as moving out of her district and would therefore be unable to continue serving as the district representative.

Baker was on the ballot this fall, unopposed, to serve another four years, but withdrew her name from
the race, as well.

With only a little over a month left on Baker’s term, the remaining six members of the board voted Tuesday night to simply leave the seat open until a special election can be called.

“There will be a special election around March to fill the position,” Coleman Landers, chairman of the board, said. “Trying to fill that and getting someone in by December would only be obviated in January.”

Anyone selected to fill the position by the board could only, by law, serve out Baker’s remaining term, which expires on Dec. 31 of this year. Baker’s resignation came too late in the election cycle for someone to put their name on the ballot — early voting had already begun when her resignation was approved, meaning she may have received votes before her candidacy was withdrawn — and she had no opposition, meaning no one could be elected to the term beginning Jan. 1 of next year.

Instead, the board will notify the Walton County Board of Elections of the need for a special election, which will mostly likely go forward in March, allowing anyone who chooses to run for the position. The
winner of that special election will then serve the entire four-year term on the board for District 1. The board approved this course of action unanimously.

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