Wesley Davis to run for county property appraiser
County Commissioner Wesley Davis, having considered his political options over the past two months since being seen as a favorite to replace Florida House Rep. Debbie Mayfield, said he’s decided his next move will instead be to ask voters for the job that Property Appraiser David Nolte has held for the past 34 years.
A real estate auctioneer and fourth-generation citrus grower, Davis planned to formally announce his candidacy for Indian River County Property Appraiser Wednesday morning at the Supervisor of Elections office with his wife Tonya.
"I just want everybody to know that I won't be seeking a fourth term for District 1 County Commissioner. I'm doing this out of respect for the position,” said Davis, who thanked the residents of Indian River County for allowing him to serve.
"It has truly been an opportunity of a lifetime, but it's time for me to do something different and real estate is what I do, appraising is what I do. I made the decision to not do anything at the state level until my kids are out of school," Davis added.
Regarding the day-to-day work that the Property Appraiser is tasked with, "I have a keen insight about property values. It's what I have been doing for the past 15 years," Davis said, adding that he would need to put his real estate license on hold if elected. "This would basically take me out of the real estate business," he said.
The 45-year-old Indian River County native was elected to the County Commission in 2004 after serving on the Indian River County School Board from 1994 to 2000. A Republican who went unchallenged in the 2012 primary, Davis represents District 1, which encompasses Fellsmere, Vero Lake Estates, Roseland and parts of Sebastian. District 1 also includes everything west of 66th Avenue north of State Road 60 up to County Road 510.
If selected as Property Appraiser, Davis would be essentially doubling his current $59,000 county salary.
Property Appraiser is what’s referred to in Florida as a Constitutional office, and those races, which include Sheriff, Tax Collector and Supervisor of Elections, sometimes require six-figure campaign war chests if hotly contested. Nolte has not announced yet whether or not he’s running, but at 71 years old with 34 years on the job and his county pension maxed out, it’s likely he’ll bow out rather than take on Davis in a primary.