Mike Prendergast, David Vincent to square off for Citrus County Sheriff

dave vincent pendergast
“Great things happen when leaders unite.'

The Citrus County Sheriff’s race is down to two men.

Sheriff Mike Prendergast and Citrus County School District Police Chief David Vincent will square off in a winner-take-all Republican Primary.

Two challengers, retired state law enforcement Col. Calvin Adams Jr. and Inverness pastor Doug Alexander, did not qualify.

Both Adams and Alexander announced their support for Vincent during the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce candidate’s forum that occurred just moments after qualifying ended.

They said the three challengers were able to meet recently and concluded their collective message has a better chance of defeating the incumbent.

“It is imperative the vote not be split among so many like-minded candidates,” Adams said.

Alexander, a former Sheriff’s deputy who announced his candidacy in March, was seen as Vincent’s closest competitor. Each has similar collections in the $40,000 range.

Alexander waited until Friday morning before deciding to forgo qualifying.

“It was a tough thing to do, but it was the right thing to do,” he said. “A vote for Dave is a vote for Doug. A vote for Dave is a vote for this community.”

A standing ovation from 200 attendees at the chamber forum greeted both announcements. It all unfolded as Prendergast sat in silence waiting for the Sheriff’s portion of the forum to begin.

Prendergast has been under enormous public pressure in recent weeks.

His agency’s participation in the arrest of Lecanto man in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot angered many in his conservative base. He is openly confrontational with County Commissioners over budget issues. 

When the wife of a critically injured deputy accused the Sheriff of planning to terminate her husband’s employment, citizens reacted with outrage.

That has energized support for challengers who say Prendergast does not have the community’s best interests at heart.

He has a huge lead financially. Prendergast, a two-term incumbent, has $168,989 cash on hand compared to Vincent’s $24,650.

Vincent supporters said Friday they plan to combat the incumbent’s money lead by fanning out across the county between now and Aug. 20.

Vincent was appreciative of the support.

“Great things happen when leaders unite,” he said. “The three of us set out on a similar mission, and that’s to bring the community back into our sheriff’s office. Our united efforts will do that.”

Mike Wright

Mike Wright is a former reporter with the Citrus County Chronicle, where he had covered county government and politics since 1987. Mike's skills as an investigative reporter earned him first-place awards in investigative writing. Mike also helped the Chronicle win the Frances Devore Award for Public Service in 2002.


  • Nicole meadows

    June 14, 2024 at 7:42 pm

    I’m putting out your bed sure needs to guarantee his work sure needs to protect our community. Whoever becomes sheriff needs to back up everything that they say and that because they’re saying it just to get voted, I want best person to win to be honest and do what they’re gonna do as far as the gentleman they got hurt, not be punished. He is in a lot of rehab and he got hurt on the job which means it’s our place. Our community and Citrus County sheriff is to honor the person that was injured on my job that means to take care of them. That means everything that they need that is what this is about . If a sheriff came back up everything that needs to be done and that sheriff doesn’t need to be elected I love Sherry has been doing lately with all the drugs and I’m so thankful for that but we also need to realize she needs to be protected if they get hurt on the job

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      June 15, 2024 at 11:22 am

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  • Jackie Kulp

    June 16, 2024 at 10:10 am

    Our hearts go out to the injured Deputy and his family. The Deputy received workers compensation as well as his medical benefits to help in his recovery. Sheriff Prendergast kept him on the payroll as long as he could, as long as funds would allow. We are all aware of the budget shortfalls in the Sheriffs department, the need for more Deputies, and the many requests that have been made to the County Commission for a budget increase to address the problem.The Chronicle reported that Sheriff Prendergast made a request to the County Commission for funds or arrangements for the injured Deputy and the request was denied. The County Commission is very comfortable using our tax dollars but will not honor the request from Sheriff Prendergast for increased funding or for help for his injured Deputy. Please attend the BOCC meetings and let your country commissioners hear your voice your voice.
    Our neighbor who attended January 6 rally received a federal charge and a federal warrant that was signed by a Federal Judge. The warrant was served by Federal Marshalls and not the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Prendergast did not serve the federal warrant. It is procedure for the Federal Marshalls to serve federal warrants. I hope this has cleared up some of the confusion. Many answers to your questions about our neighbor who was charged following the January 6 rally in DC can be answered by using a public information request.

  • Billy Nash

    June 18, 2024 at 2:38 pm

    It is a blemish on the county to have one of the Jan. 6 rioters live here. Good riddance. You don’t have to like Biden. Its your right to support and vote for Trump but what happened on Jan. 6 under Trump’s watch was unforgivable. Investigation after investigation has proven Biden won the election. The vitriol against Joe Biden from people in Citrus County is disgusting. Lots of Fox News watchers around here – just look at the education level in this county – it explains a lot.

Comments are closed.


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