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My name is Mike Kemp and I am your Wakulla County Commissioner, District 3. Being born and raised in Wakulla County, I am proud to call this great county my HOME. My mother and father, Wanda and Don Kemp, along with my sister Carolyn, brother Jake and half-brother Trent, grew up in Wakulla county. I have 3 children: Jessica, Amanda and Kade, as well as a son in law, Bobby Morales, and 2 granddaughters, Braylnn and Ellie. My children are my entire world and I am blessed to have all of them live in Wakulla County as well.
Many of the citizens of this county have come to know me through my 28 years of service with the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy. Through this service I have consistently helped the citizens of this county no matter the issue or background. By building handicap ramps with Ability 1st every year to purchasing fans and heaters for our less fortunate senior citizens or shopping so that local families can have bountiful holiday meals, I have done my best to lend a helping hand to community efforts. From recruiting a crew to cut and clear trees after a hurricane to helping our oldest and youngest citizens get food and water, I am not one to sit back when there is work to be done.
My motivation to serve developed at an early age. After graduating high school, I went into the Army National Guard. Once my service with the National Guard was complete, I returned to the county and started working for the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office where I began my law enforcement career in 1991. Over the course of my career, I moved up through the ranks of the Sheriff’s office including working as a Dispatcher, Corrections Officer, Deputy, Investigator, SWAT Operator, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, and achieving the rank of Major Over Law Enforcement prior to my retirement.
In October 2018, I retired from the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office, but did not leave public service. I was given the opportunity to pursue a new career at Big Bend Community Based Care serving as a School Safety Specialist and Prevention for 18 counties in the Florida panhandle. In this position, I continue to give back and am very passionate about providing mental health services for children, adults & families including for our community as well. I am committed to ensuring the highest standards for school safety and will work with our school Superintendent to make sure this is the case.
Throughout my distinguished law enforcement career, I have been humbled by the honors bestowed upon me for my service. Recognition of my service to the citizens of Wakulla County and my community involvement include the following:
- Governors Heroism Award
- Officer of the Year
- Meritorious Award (1997)
- Graduate of Florida Sheriff’s Institute Commanders Academy (2018)
- 3 Lifesaving Proclamation Awards from Wakulla County Sheriff
- Numerous Letters of Commendation from Governor Rick Scott
- Medal of Valor from Commander Mike Ford (2013)
- Good Samaritan Award from Wakulla County Senior Citizens Center
- Wakulla Ducks Unlimited Committee
- NRA Member
I believe that leadership is not a position or title, it is action and example. Guided by this belief, I will do my best to lead by my actions through effective communication, problem solving, and delegation. For me, effective leadership includes the ability to give and receive feedback. Above all, I consider it paramount to be respectful, honest and fair in daily life. Throughout my life, I have created a valuable network of friends, businesses and support systems that believe in me and know that I can be counted on to respond and serve with integrity.
A commissioner's main purpose is to look out for people in Wakulla. I have spent my whole life working for a safer and better community and when elected will continue to do so. Along the way, I learned to listen to people, find the facts, and carefully examine each decision. I know every corner of this county and it's important that there's a voice on this commission that understands what it takes to keep our county safe and healthy.
Please know that I love serving the community. I have served my entire life and I will continue that service as your County Commissioner.