FLAGLER BEACH, Fla. – Patti King, the Director of the Flagler Beach Historical Museum since last summer, has filed to run for Mayor of Flagler Beach. King is the first candidate to file for the election, which takes place in March 2024.
The entrance of King into the race potentially lines her up to succeed Suzie Johnston, the mayor since 2021 who confirmed for the first time on Thursday that she would not be seeking a second term in office.
“I’ve been here 13 years and this community is my heart and soul,” King said of her decision to run. “I plan on being her until my dying breath. I want to be able to do something to help our community. Nobody else has stepped up to do it, we need somebody who can bring this community together to face the next three years and all the challenges that are going to be in existence.”
Beyond that, King confirmed that she had no plans of stepping down from her role as Museum Director to accommodate her campaign or potential mayorship. Though the deal is not finalized, King came to an agreement with the Flagler Beach City Commission last week to renew the museum’s lease on an annual basis to keep it adjacent to City Hall; this was agreed to instead of the initially-suggested ten-year lease extension. King would not have to vote in a potential conflict of interest, as the Mayor of Flagler Beach is not a position which votes on agenda items.
King said that she’d been approached about running for office in Flagler Beach before, but has repeatedly turned the idea down. This time, she said she was encouraged to run by two sitting city commissioners: James Sherman and Scott Spradley. Of the two, it was Sherman who King said gave her the strongest push. “James has always been the one the past few years [who’s] talking about is,” King said. “Planting the seed if you will.”
Elsewhere in Flagler Beach, Bob Cunningham III has filed to run for the City Commission, as of now the only candidate aside from King who’s filed. One City Commission seat is up for election, currently held by City Commission Chair Eric Cooley. As of Friday, Cooley has still not confirmed whether he plans to seek a third three-year term on the City Commission.