Five candidates are vying for the District 2 seat for Monroe County Commission. Debbie Halama, a Republican, is the latest to announce.
The District 2 seat, being vacated by George Neugent who has announced a run for Marathon Council, is being sought by Halama, Michelle Coldiron (R), Eleanor McAdams (NPA), Thomas “Tommy” Ryan (D), and Charles Weitzel (R). District 4 incumbent David Rice (R) faces Vicki Tashjian (NPA – no party affiliation). BOCC candidates must live in a certain geographical area to be eligible to run, but are elected countywide.
Halama (pronounced “halma”) said it’s concerns about representation that prompted to her run. That, and car ride talks with her two teenage sons from their home on Big Pine Key to Key West Collegiate Academy. “It went beyond ‘What happened at school today,’ to conversation centered around politics,” she said.
Halama has been a Keys Realtor since 2004, although she spent time in the Keys during the ’90s working at local banks. She also has owned Molly’s Pawn and More on Big Pine Key since 2012.
“What I hear from my neighbors and the business community, is that local government is not listening to them over the last several years, but this really came to light after Hurricane Irma,” she said. “It’s a lot of work, and I’ve done a lot of research, but I’m in it to the finish line; 100 percent into it.”
Her other issues include the expediency of debris removal in the hardest hit area of the Keys, continued canal cleanup and the lack of proper fire equipment to protect the environmentally sensitive plots on Big Pine Key.