Terry Tipton, Jr. and his wife Lizzy led a large contingent of supporters in the Feb. 18 parade at the 20th annual African American History Festival parade. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

Early announcements launch 2024 campaign

In an unusual departure from the traditional start of the election season, two candidates have thrown their hats in the ring about a year ahead of schedule.

In an official filing Jan. 6 with the supervisor of election’s office, Terry Tipton, Jr. has announced his intent to run for property appraiser in 2024. A Republican, Tipton hopes to succeed incumbent Rhonda Skipper, a Democrat, who has said she does not plan to seek another term in 2024.

In an informal post on Facebook, AJ Smith last week announced that he intends to seek a third four-year term next year.

“Recently, I’ve been asked if I’m running for reelection. The answer is unequivocally yes,” he wrote. “I hope folks are pleased with the job we are doing. As 2023 progresses we will be launching new programs and initiatives focusing on our youth.”

Smith, a Republican, was first elected in 2016, and then reelected in 2020. The sheriff’s job pays $148,062, the property appraiser makes $112,202 annually. 

In his announcement, Tipton wrote that “I realize that the next general election is next year in 2024. I understand that this is an early announcement. However, we live in a large spread-out county, and I have a lot of ground to cover and many folks to meet outside of work, and spending time with my family.”

Tipton, who last year married Apalachicola Bay Charter School music teacher Lizzy Green, is a lifelong resident of Franklin County who graduated from Apalachicola High School in 1997. He has worked for 20 years at the property appraiser’s office, first as a field appraiser, later as a supervisor and now as an exemptions specialist, where he oversees all exemptions and works on sales analysis, land appraisals, building appraisals, and tax roll processing. 

Tipton also serves as worship leader and Christian education director at the Apalachicola First Pentecostal Holiness Church.

In his public statement on the supervisor of elections website, votefranklin.com, Tipton outlines his qualifications and background for the job.

For information on registering to vote, changing your address or other election-related questions, visit votefranklin.com or visit the supervisor of elections office at 47 Ave F. Apalachicola, or call (850) 653-9520.

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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