Dale Perkins was first elected to the Emerald Coast Utility Authority in 1994. He is seeking his fifth term. When he first ran the utility was called Escambia County Utility Authority, Bill Clinton was president, Joe Scarborough was the surprise winner of the Congressional race over Lois Benson (who now serves with Perkins) and Mike Wiggins and Jack Nobles were first elected to the Pensacola City Council. Only Perkins and Wiggins are still elected officials.
Perkins may have some competition for his seat. Steve Sharp, who heads public safety and security for the Escambia County Public School District, is being pushed to run. Sharp is a veteran campaign organizer who worked on the campaigns of Scarborough, Superintendent Jim Paul and School Board member Gerald Boone. He has lived in District 4 with his wife and two daughters longer than Perkins has been on the ECUA board.
Sharp would be a formidable candidate in an election year that incumbents – particularly long-term incumbents – will have tough elections.