Kathryn Starkey’s candidacy for Pasco County Commission in District 3 was sparked by a reflective moment, thinking about Commissioner Ann Hildebrand’s retirement, the 2014 departure of Commissioner Pat Mulieri, and two additional longtime administrators also are leaving this summer.

“I just realized so many key people in the county are retiring,” she said. “Maybe my background and experiences and leadership could be of value to the board and the community.”

Starkey was elected to the School Board in 2004 and served until 2010.

Community is at the heart of Starkey’s politics. In fact, prior to Starkey’s experience with public office, she was an active civic volunteer. She founded Scenic Pasco, which lobbied for aesthetic landscape and sign requirements, and served on a citizens advisory committee that evaluated Pasco’s comprehensive plan. She also served on the Pinellas-Anclote River Basin Board and was recently appointed to the Florida Humanities Council.

Starkey also brings coveted name recognition to the race as the daughter-in-law of rancher J.B. Starkey, whose family name adorns the 20,000-acre preserve just north of Odessa.

“It gives me a background that’s unique among the candidates who are running,” she said. “I’ll be able to hit the ground running.”