Volusia Council at-large seat will be filled by Pettit or Johansson.

DAYTONA BEACH — This is the first time both Jake Johansson and Doug Pettit have run for an elected position. Both spent their younger years living in places outside of Volusia County.

Each has extensive military experience. Johansson spent 35 years in the Navy. He commanded a combat squadron in Iraq and a Naval base in Norfolk, Virginia, where there is one of the largest concentrations of military personnel in the world.

Pettit is a retired US Marine with 26 years of military service that included serving in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm in 1990 and 1991.

Both want to preserve Volusia County’s remaining untouched lands, and they want to be good stewards of taxpayers’ money.

So what distinguishes the two men facing off in the Nov. 8 election to determine who the county’s next at-large representative will be?

Pettit is 68 years old, mostly retired and has worked as a coach, teacher and business owner. Johansson is 59 years old, was the city manager of Port Orange for five and a half years, worked at the Pentagon and carried the nuclear football in the White House for three years, and is currently working as a leadership consultant mostly doing executive coaching.

Johansson is supported by current at-large County Councilman Ben Johnson, and Pettit has the backing of County Chair Jeff Brower. Johnson and Brower often disagree on issues and have had tense exchanges at Council meetings.

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