Bobby Wagner (left) and Rodney Braden (right)

Bobby Wagner, Rodney Braden have pre-filed to run for Destin Mayor

The city's election will be held on November 8, 2022.
Bobby Wagner (left) and Rodney Braden (right)

With elections coming up in November for the city of Destin, two candidates have now thrown their hats into the ring for the Mayoral position.

As of April 28, 2022, both Bobby Wagner and Rodney Braden have pre-filed to run for Destin Mayor. If those names sound familiar, that’s because both are currently sitting Councilmembers for the city of Destin.

Wagner was the first to pre-file, having done so on April 21st. Wagner was temporarily appointed to the council back in November 2021 to fill the vacancy left by the suspension of Prebble Ramswell.

“Being on city council for almost a half-a-year now, I really want to bring connectivity back to the city,” said Wagner. “I think we’re at a really critical cross point of a new phase of Destin that is coming. I feel I would be the best choice when it comes to working together, and really connecting and unifying people back together.”

Wagner feels that there has always been two different groups in Destin. And while the groups may change from year-to-year, or even change their talking points, he wants to be a conduit for both parties to talk to.

“For me, it’s about becoming Mayor and unifying Destin towards this next chapter that we have to go through,” he said. “I want to come from a unity mindset.”

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A move to Mayor means that Wagner will lose the voting power that comes with being on council, unless the Mayor is needed as a tiebreaker.

“I love the council that we have right now and I have a lot of trust in them,” he said. “So for me to give up the vote would be okay because I really do believe in our council and I believe in the people that are there right now.”

Wagner says that to give up the council seat is really just allowing someone else to bring their skillset to the position, and allow him to utilize his skillset in what he describes as “bringing people together, communicating, and just creating goodness.”

For Mayoral candidate Rodney Braden, having termed out after 8 years on the Destin City Council, he’s not yet ready to step away from local politics.

  • On Monday, Braden officially submitted his paperwork to the Okaloosa Supervisor of Elections’ office.

“I’m termed out,” said Braden on Thursday morning. “So the only position I can run for is Mayor. I want to run and try to get the Mayor seat so I can stay in the loop on things.”

Braden says that his goal is to keep fighting for “what’s right for the citizens of Destin” and hold the Mayor position until he can run for council again.

“I think the biggest thing is just being a voice for the citizens of Destin and fighting for what they want,” he said.

Looking ahead, Braden says he looking forward to more beach acquisitions, under-grounding the utilities and getting the crosstown connector finished.

Mayor Gary Jarvis is said to not be seeking re-election.

The city’s election will be held on November 8, 2022.

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