BROOKSVILLE — It may be a year and a half before the 2018 elections, but two candidates already have pre-filed paperwork to run for the District 2 Hernando County Commission seat now held by Republican Wayne Dukes.
The candidates are Beth Narverud, who is a member of the Hernando School Board, and political newcomer Timothy "Tim" Liberty. Both are Republicans.
Narverud, 53, said she has developed an interest in the County Commission seat because she believes she can help focus the county's growth and direction.
"Being on the School Board, I've learned a lot about the different mechanisms'' of how to get things done, she said.
Married with three children, she said she believes the county needs to pay attention to making itself attractive so that her children and the children of others want to stay here rather than move away. Creating jobs, aligning education with economic development and creating events of cultural interest should be part of that picture, she said.
A New York native who was raised in New Jersey, Narverud visited the area as a child. She came to live in Hernando County 30 years ago and worked with her father, who was in the restaurant and catering business. She owns a Domino's Pizza franchise, has taken some college classes and has served on the Hernando County Education Foundation and the Pasco Hernando Early Learning Coalition.
Liberty, 32, has not run for office before. A St. Petersburg native, he served in the Marines, earned his bachelor's degree in political science from Northeastern Illinois University and his master's in critical incident management from Saint Leo University.
A resident of the area since 1999, when he moved from Chicago, he struggled to find a job at first. Then he enrolled in the police academy and was about to move into law enforcement when he received an offer from Liberty Mutual and decided to go the corporate route instead.
Liberty currently works as a consultant for an insurance brokerage company, helping reduce risk and mitigate the cost of claims. Married with a 1-year-old daughter, he said he decided to run because he has always been interested in politics and has always wanted to help people.
"I've just always wanted to serve my community,'' he said.
Contact Barbara Behrendt at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1434.