Registered voters of Lafayette County will elect a new County Tax Collector come Nov. 8.
Voters will choose between current Deputy Tax Collector, Shelia Bates Adams, and Charles B. “Chuck” Hewett, Jr. Lafayette County, 548 square miles large, is the second least-populated county in the state of Florida. The county’s only incorporated town is Mayo.
Shelia Bates Adams
Shelia Bates Adams currently serves as Deputy Tax Collector for Lafayette County. Adams won the Democratic nomination for the tax collector race in the August primaries against two other candidates.
She did not respond to multiple interview requests prior to publication.
Charles B. “Chuck” Hewett, Jr.
Chuck Hewett, 48, has been a resident of Lafayette county his entire life. He lives in the city of Mayo with his wife and 19-year-old son, and serves as a deacon and treasurer of Airline Baptist Church. He graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor’s degree in business management, and recently resigned from his job at Palms Medical Group to focus on the tax collector race.
Hewett has been volunteering with local high school and community sports teams in several coaching and administrative positions in baseball, football and volleyball. He’s running for office as an opportunity to continue to serve his community at a different capacity.
“I just have a passion to serve this community,” Hewett said. “This community has invested in me my whole life; I try to give back through volunteering.”
Hewett ran for office four years ago and lost by only a handful of votes. He decided to run again this year when the incumbent did not run for reelection. Hewett says the biggest problem the tax collector’s office currently faces is lack of funding due to the county’s limited population.
Hewett believes he has what it takes to be Lafayette County tax collector based on his background in customer service, purchasing payrolls, risk management, accounting and finance. He says his experience will equip him to operate an office that handles a wide range of responsibilities such as dispersing revenues at local and state levels, representing various local government agencies, and issuing various types of licenses and tag titles.
“It really is a diverse office, and I have the diverse background to be able to distribute all the funds to where they’re supposed to be, as well as maintain the office professionally,” he said.
Hewett is endorsed by the Lafayette County Republican Party.
This story is part of our guide, Florida Votes 2016, leading up to the Nov. 8 election. Check your voter registration status here.