Former County Commissioner and State Rep. Ray Sansom was the first candidate to qualify in Okaloosa County to run for office this year. He pre-filed to challenge appointed School Superintendent Marcus Chambers if Chambers makes good on his promise to seek the seat.

DESTIN — Eight years has been enough for Kelly Windes as a county commissioner.

Windes, a former Destin City Council member who holds the rare distinction of having won election, then being appointed to represent the same seat, announced Tuesday that he would not seek a third term in office.

“After careful consideration, my wife and I have decided to answer to a higher authority and devote more time to the things that are most important,” Windes said in a short note dropped off at the Northwest Florida Daily News office.

In August of 2012 Windes defeated Larry Hines by a margin of about 600 votes to claim the District 5 County Commission seat.

Two months later, Gov. Rick Scott appointed Windes to replace James Campbell, the previous District 5 commissioner who the governor had suspended in September following his arrest on perjury and official misconduct charges.

Windes said he had decided to notify the public of his decision to step down at this time because two of his colleagues on the commission, Graham Fountain and Nathan Boyles have announced their intention to seek another term.

“Since the election is almost exactly a year away, I think it would be fair to Okaloosa County for me to announce my intentions,” he said.

For Fountain, a 2020 election win would mean a second four-year term on the County Commission, and for Boyles, victory would secure a third term.

Boyles has already drawn a challenge for his District 3 seat. Clyde Lewis, a Baker resident with whom Boyles competes in the waste disposal industry, signed on in July to run against him.

It appears highly likely that Windes will be joined on the electoral sideline in 2020 by Sheriff Larry Ashley. Ashley has stated publicly several times that he does not intend to seek a third full term after spending 10 years at the helm of the Sheriff’s Office.

Eric Aden, a Sheriff’s Office major and close Ashley ally, has pre-filed to follow in Ashley’s footsteps.

Former County Commissioner and State Rep. Ray Sansom was the first candidate to qualify in Okaloosa County to run for office this year. He pre-filed to challenge appointed School Superintendent Marcus Chambers if Chambers makes good on his promise to seek the seat.

Timothy Bryant has also qualified to run for the District 4 Okaloosa County School Board seat.