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Palm Coast Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021 1 year ago

City Councilman Victor Barbosa challenges Joe Mullins for County Commission seat

Barbosa had previously filed to run against Commissioner Greg Hansen for the District 2 seat, but has opted to run for District 4 instead.
by: Jonathan Simmons Managing Editor

Palm Coast District 2 City Councilman Victor Barbosa is dropping his bid for the District 2 Flagler County Commission seat held by Greg Hansen, and will instead challenge Commissioner Joe Mullins for the County Commission District 4 seat that encompasses Bunnell and much of western Flagler County.

Barbosa will need to move out of Palm Coast if elected to the County Commission District 4 seat in the upcoming 2022 elections, as the District 4 seat, unlike the District 2 seat, does not include Palm Coast.

"I’ve been building modular homes out west in Bunnell, and I fell in love with it. ... So today, I decided to switch seats for the 2022 election."


— VICTOR BARBOSA, city councilman

Barbosa announced the switch in a video posted on his Facebook page the afternoon of Monday, Nov. 29.

He opened his video by saying he’d just left the county elections office.

“Some of you know I’ve been building modular homes out west in Bunnell, and I fell in love with it,” he said. “I mean, it’s beautiful out there — country — and I love it.”

He said his father had surprised him by gifting him a house there. 

“So today, I decided to switch seats for the 2022 election,” he said. “I will be running for commissioner for District 4. I think there’s a lot of work that needs to be done out west in Bunnell. I feel like they’re the forgotten city, and hopefully I could do a lot of good out there.”

Barbosa told the Palm Coast Observer that his priorities include improved water service options for the west side, more paved roads and supporting the county’s farmers.

He said he expects to have a small farm in Bunnell, on a couple of acres, and plans to move even if he doesn’t win the commission race.

“I have been thinking about it for a while,” he said. “ I’m excited and can’t wait. ...  I’m sad I won’t be able to move there till November 2022.”

His new home is almost finished, he said, and he’ll next be working on the  layout of the farm.

He plans to grow fruit trees and vegetables and keep cows, pigs, goats, chickens and ducks, he said.

“We also have commercial land out there, and I have been thinking of a second ManCave barbershop for a while,” he added. 

Barbosa is owner of the ManCave  barbershop on Palm Harbor Village Way. 

By switching districts, Barbosa will be facing Mullins, the county commissioner who was selected as the commission’s chairman in a 3-2 vote this year, and, as chairman, may be particularly visible to residents in the coming months leading up to the election, as the chairman often represents the board at public events.

Mullins has presented himself as a champion of the county’s west side, pushing for the expansion of regular mosquito spraying services to Daytona North and for greater internet access out west. The county is planning to use American Rescue Plan Act money to extend broadband internet access to homes there. 

Mullins has also been involved in controversy and was criticized by former chairman Donald O’Brien for his social media activity, which  inspired many to protest Mullins’ election as chairman.

As a city councilman, Barbosa has advocated for initiatives he’s said would make the city more business-friendly.

He pushed his fellow council members to revoke the city’s ban on the overnight parking of vehicles with commercial signage in residential driveways, saying relaxing the restriction would be a way to make small business owners’ and workers’ lives a bit easier during the pandemic. (The council voted 3-2 against changing the rule.)

He’s opposed attempts to rezone land from a commercial or industrial designation to a residential designation, saying that Palm Coast needs more industry to relieve the tax burden on residents.

One other candidate has registered for the District 4 County Commission race: Jane Gentile-Youd, who ran against Mullins in 2018 as a no-party affiliation candidate, but was defeated.

No one else has yet filed to run against Hansen for the District 2 County Commission seat.

One person, local pastor Sims Jones, has filed to run for the District 2 Palm Coast City Council seat that Barbosa will be vacating.  

Two people, Fernando Melendez and Stephen Earl Swarner, have filed to run for the District 4 Palm Coast City Council seat held by Councilman Eddie Branquinho, who has said that at this point he does not expect to run for re-election.

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