Doug Underhill will not seek third term as District 2 Commissioner
Escambia County’s polarizing and outspoken District 2 County Commissioner, Doug Underhill, has publicly stated that he will not be seeking a third term as Commissioner. Underhill was elected in 2014, after defeating the incumbent District 2 County Commissioner, Gene Valentino.
Underhill’s press release contained the following explanation for his decision: “I admire the example set by our nation’s first executive, who set the gentlemen’s standard of two terms in an office. There are exceptional men and women in our community who could serve District 2 and Escambia County in this seat; only a selfish man believes that his incumbency is more important than the good of the community. I am making this announcement at this time to enable those future public servants to begin their efforts to serve.”
Underhill did not specify if he would be seeking any other office after his term on the Board of County Commissioners ends.
Currently, three candidates have pre-filed to run for the District 2 seat: Navy veteran & former Marine Steve Stroberger (R), community advocate Melissa “Mel” Pino (NPA), and business owner Chance Walsh (R). Walsh currently leads the race in fundraising.
The physical parameters that outline the jurisdiction of District 2 may be subject to September’s redistricting, which will be based on the results of the 2020 and occurs every ten years.
Underhill’s press release addressed his plans for the remainder of his term, stating, “My supporters sent me here on a message of reform, and their continued support is the best indication that I have lived up to that expectation and have not succumbed to the constant pressure to do things ‘the way they’ve always been done’….the work of reform is never done, and it is certainly not done in Escambia County. For the next 20 months, I will continue to work towards making our government a truer reflection of the priorities and morality of the people we serve, and that work will continue aggressively long after I leave this office.”