Ricky Booth plans to run for commission seat

As one local Osceola politician makes a 2020 run for the statehouse, another is vying to take his soon-to-be-vacant seat.

School Board Member Ricky Booth filed Wednesday to run for the Osceola County Commission in district 5. The announcement came less than a week after Fred Hawkins Jr. – who currently occupies that seat – tossed his hat into the ring for Florida State House District 42.

Booth, a St. Cloud native, has served on the Osceola County School Board for four years, and recently completed a one-year term as chairman of that board.

Although his School Board seat is non-partisan, Booth is running on the Republican ticket for county commissioner.  

No one else has filed to run yet in district 5, a mostly rural area comprised of Harmony, Narcoossee and a bulk of St. Cloud.

Booth is a figure in the local agriculture and ranching community, with family ties that trace back generations. He’s built a career in the beef cattle industry, and works with his family to operate the Doc Partin Ranch in St. Cloud along with other operations in Florida and Alabama.

Booth has also served in agriculture leadership roles, including past president of the Osceola County Cattlemen’s Association and Silver Spurs Rodeo, as well as the current director of the local Farm Bureau.

Booth has experience on other boards, including the Four Corners Charter School, the Education Foundation of Osceola County and the St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce.

Last year, Booth received the Osceola County Golden Eagle Award from the Central Florida Council of Boy Scouts of America for “his commitment to community service.”

Booth lives in St. Cloud with his wife of 16 years, Erika, and their three children.

In a Feb. 8 release, Booth laid out a platform built on managing growth, maintaining public safety and conserving natural resources.

“My commitment to our county runs deep,” Booth said Wednesday. “As a fifth generation Osceola resident, I value our heritage and look forward to helping shape a bright future for us all.”

In other local political news, Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson will now face a fellow Democrat opponent in next year’s primaries after Mike Fisher filed to run earlier this week.