WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — A big day for Walton County Commissioners welcoming a familiar face to the board.

Former Florida State House Representative Brad Drake now fills the vacant District 3 seat.

Florida Governor Ron Desantis appointed Drake to the chair in an announcement on Sept. 7.  

Drake, of Defuniak Springs, is the Director of Rural and Community Affairs for the Florida Department of Transportation.  

He served as a representative in the Florida House of Representatives from 2008 to 2012 and again from 2014 to 2022.  

Drake earned his Bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Florida. 

Drake told News 13 at the Sept. 11 ceremony he will focus on being available for residents to speak with openly.

“This morning I already met my first constituent. We had breakfast and they had a lot on their mind. So I want to make sure that everyone in the county, especially those who live in District 3, understands that they have someone now that they can count on. They can come to my office or they can call me and reach out and express their concerns or their ideas or their vision for the county, and they’ll have someone that’ll be responsive,” said Drake.

Drake said he will focus on infrastructure in the growing area.

“We have to continue to invest in infrastructure. We’re one of the fastest-growing counties in the state and in the United States so if we’re going to continue to be a part of that growth that naturally happens when people find out that you have the best place in the world that you can live in. There are growing pains that are associated with that so we want to make sure that we’re ready, that we can provide the infrastructure that people that want to come here and tap into water lines and those exist or be able to drive on roads that are sustainable,” said Drake.

The District 3 seat has been open since Mike Barker’s departure in Feb. 2023. The term will run out in Nov. of 2024.