By Martie Thompson
Newly elected County Commissioner, District 4 Krista Joseph credits her array of life experiences with making her a good fit for her new position — she’s been a nationally-ranked runner on scholarship at the University of Arizona and had careers in marketing, television, and real estate. She has volunteered for veterans’ causes as well as Daughters of the American Revolution.
“I’m learning as fast as I can,” she said. “So far it’s been fun and throughout the campaign and my first few weeks as a commissioner, I’ve met some of the most interesting people.”
Meeting people, and now representing the citizens of St. Johns County, is something that energizes Joseph.
“I realize with my one vote on the commission that I represent so many people’s lives,” Joseph said. “As a woman and part of that group that has only had the right to vote since 1920 — and now being in legislature, is awe inspiring to me and I’m honored to have the privilege to do this.”
Joseph has been married to her husband Ron, a retired orthopedic hand surgeon, for 32 years. Their blended family of five children includes a youngest daughter who is homeschooled and swims for Ponte Vedra High School, and two Navy Seals, one of whom, Charlie, died for his country in Iraq in 2016. His sacrifice made Joseph a Gold Star Mom, which she calls “humbling,” and she continues to honor her son with a series of children’s books as well as a memoir, “Charlie Don’t Be a Hero, A Mother’s Story of the Extraordinary Life of Her Son, U.S. Navy SEAL Charles Keating IV.” Joseph said she holds the veteran community in high esteem and works to support them in any way she can.
She sees the biggest issue facing the county commission at this time to be the unbridled growth in St. Johns County.
“We need to think about the people who already live here,” she said. “I feel like there hasn’t been an ear for these people and I’m trying to be that.”
She points to water and agriculture as being important resources. Having previously lived in Arizona and Crystal River, Florida, she knows the importance of water. She also wants to champion keeping the county’s agricultural lands viable and not built out with development, saying that St. Johns County, and even Florida as a whole, need to protect resources that can feed and sustain its own citizens.
As for other priorities, “I want to do the right thing,” she said. “I want to be thoughtful and not be swayed by donors.”
She feels her most important strength is her family background and her ability to relate to many different groups of people. Joseph makes it a point at least two times per week to go to mass at Our Lady Star of the Sea.
In her spare time, Joseph enjoys outdoor activities, including running, hiking, and paddle boarding. It is this attachment to nature that makes her cognizant of the battle between quality of life in St. Johns County and the area’s beautiful environment. She regularly runs in 5Ks and in fact campaigned while running by carrying her sign in communities throughout the county.
As for the future, Joseph said, “I plan on working hard for the next four years and do as much as I possibly can — based not on a plan to necessarily run again, but to do what’s best for St. Johns County. I’m not a politician and I don’t know what the future holds, but I know I’m a representative of all the people in District 4 of St. Johns County and I want to do the best job I can.”
Photo courtesy Krista Joseph
New County Commissioner Krista Joseph with her husband, Ron Joseph.