Rich Gailey of DeBary running for County Council seat 5 with mission of cutting government spending

Rich Gailey with wife Lisa and their childrenPhoto for Headline Surfer /
Rich Gailey, with his wife Lisa and their two children shown here, call Southwest Volusia home. The family lives in DeBary and he owns property in Deltona. Gailey is running for the Volusia County Council dist. 5 seat against incumbent Pat Northey and fellow challengers Dennis Mulder and Stony Sixma.

DELTONA -- Rich Gailey loves God, his family and his country. And like many of you struggling to make ends meet in this entrenched recession, he's grown tired and weary of paying taxes and seeing from his vantage point diminishing returns in the Southwest Volusia community he and his wife and children call home.

That's why Gailey's running for the district 5 seat on the Volusia County Council.

Gailey, a 21-year certified financial planner, understands the importance of budgeting and setting priorities. That, more than anything else, he sees as lacking in county government where individual line items become blurred in a maze of budget numbers where the bottom line becomes difficult to maintain unless spending is reigned in by going through those individual expenditures and budgeting based on community need.

Though the council council race is non-partisan, the 45-year-old Gailey readily identifies himself as a conservative Republican and espouses the ideology of smaller government, free markets and traditional American values.

Gailey, a Pittsburgh native, and his wife, Lisa, started their family here in the Deltona area 15 years ago, their two children native to Southwest Volusia.

"(We) have many friends who are challenged by the loss of jobs in our part of the county and I believe the solution to their problem is a growing business community."

Richard Gailey of Deltona, candidate for Volusia County Council, dist. 5"(We) have many friends who are challenged by the loss of jobs in our part of the county and I believe the solution to their problem is a growing business community."

But he firmly believes that finding ways to streamline government to encourage the creation of jobs locally is the way to go.

Gailey said he understands he's up against an entrenched and astute politician with name recognition, but as he points out, running again for this seat was not Northey's first priority. She actually took out qualifying papers to run for the high-powered position of Volusia County supervisor of elections, as did fellow County Council member Andy Kelly. They were expected to battle it out for the job with Ann McFall announcing last year she wasn't going to seek re-election.

But just a week ago, McFall changed her mind and that set off a domino effect of Northey going back to her county council seat, where she is not term-limited unlike colleagues Frank Bruno and Carl Persis. Bruno, Volusia County chairman, is running as a Democrat for state senator with Republican Dorothy Hukill, term-limited from her state representative seat in Southeast Volusia. Persis is running to be Bruno's heir-apparent on the County Council.

When Gailey started knocking on doors earlier this year, the field was narrower and there was no incumbent. But Gailey said he is re-dedicating himself to building name recognition and getting his name out through a diverse strategy of door-to-door, weekend festival appearances, political signs, mailings and digital media with 24/7 exposure through Headline Surfer (, and social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Besides getting his name out to the public, Gailey knows he has to continue the quest to raise more money to fuel his campaign with the Aug. 14 primary less than 90 days away. Unless someone else enters the field for the district 5 seat on the county council and the current slate of announced candidates meets qualifying, which ends noon Friday, June 22.

Unless one of the multiple candidates gets 50 percent of the vote, plus one in the August primary, the top two vote-getters will square off in the November elections. Gailey said he understands he only has to finish in the top 2 to force the November runoff where the presidential race is the big ticket. If he battles the incumbent, Northey, he'll have more time to challenger her record while she'll be able to counter with her experience and leadership.

Northey leads the pack in campaign contributions with $23,825, former Deltona mayor Mulder second with $10,700, Gailey right behind him with 8,455 and Sixma with nothing on his campaign account.

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via for a decade now. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards in print anddigital platforms. Frederick is enrolled at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's three-fourths through the online Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation is in August.