3 Seats Up for Grabs in Duval Soil & Water Conservation District

Oct 8, 2018

The Duval Soil and Water Conservation District Board has three openings to fill in the November 6 general election.

The Duval SWCD, which is comprised of five non-partisan elected supervisors, serves to build a bridge between the government agencies that regulate and conserve natural resources and landowners, farmers and teachers.

This November 6 general election, there are currently nine candidates running for three group seats including Group 1, Group 3 and Group 5. All board members serve at large for a four-year term.


Running for Group 1 office, Duval SWCD chairman Allen Moore is being challenged Stephen Doty, Binod Kumar, and Dewitt Robinson.

Incumbent Group 3 Supervisor Sel Buyuksarac faces Russell Pelle and SWCD volunteer Jennifer Casey.

Higher education consultant Robert Abene is challenging incumbent supervisor James Cook for the Group 5 seat.

Some of the common priorities these candidates referenced in interviews with our partner News4Jax include addressing funding challenges, promoting sustainability and resource management, and enhancing the health and life qualities of Duval County residents.

“What I think as the most important thing for our board is that people running for the district should have dedicated and sustained passion,” said Duval SWCD Board Vice Chairwoman Shannon Blankinship.

Emphasizing how that passion can drive out viable plans, Blankinship is also calling both the candidates and voters to more actively participate in the process.

She said the candidates shouldn’t show up to monthly meetings just to vote and settle for less, saying voters need to maintain an “ongoing presence” in order to hold their elected officials accountable.

Blankinship is leaving her position for other volunteer-based positions, but she said she plans to make herself available and consult future supervisors.

You can find more information about the candidates in our Voter's Guide.