Term Expires: November 2024
Mayor Bill White was elected to his first term on the Dunnellon City Council and was sworn into office on November 13, 2018 to Council Seat #2.
He is a native of Illinois and moved with his parents and siblings to Largo, Florida as a teenager in 1968. Mayor White graduated from Largo High School and earned a dual Bachelor's degree in Secondary Education and Political Science from the University of South Florida in Tampa. He also earned a Master's degree from USF in Special Education.
Mayor White is married to Laura, his wife of 42 years and has two grown children, Lindsey and Jacob. Laura and Bill met as teenagers while working in a grocery store.
Upon graduation, Mayor White taught at Booker elementary school for 6 years in the Sarasota County School system as a special education teacher. He also was the high school baseball head coach and a junior varsity football coach at Booker High School. When Mayor White took over as the baseball coach, the team was winless. Three years later, in 1982, "Coach White's" Booker High School Tornado baseball team won the district championship and his J.V. football team was undefeated.
As a child living in Illinois, Mayor White developed a strong, loving relationship with his grandfather, Lawrence Adolfie. His grandfather had a lifelong passion for racehorses and owned several that actively raced. It was through this relationship that Mayor White also developed an interest in horse racing. He left the teaching profession at 30 years of age to follow his dream of becoming a race horse trainer.
After years of travel, Mayor White eventually settled in South Florida, where he had a successful 32 year career training race horses that raced primarily at Hialeah Park, Gulfstream Park and Calder Race Course. His stable grew to 65 horses and had 20 employees, which included grooms, exercise riders, hot walkers and assistants. Mayor White retired in 2014 with 2034 winners, 17 leading trainer titles and an induction into the Calder Race Course Hall of Fame. He has trained for many of the most prominent horse farms historically and currently in Ocala. Interestingly, Mayor White also has skills as a farrier and has learned firsthand of the challenges, long hours, risks and responsibilities of running a small business.
Mayor White was active in the political arena as elected President of the FHBPA (Florida Horsemen Benevolent and Protective Association), which is an organization that represents the interests of the 5000 Thoroughbred Owners and Trainers in the State of Florida. As President, his duties included negotiating multi-million dollar contracts with race track owners, influencing the creation of gaming legislation, providing benevolence for backstretch workers and providing aftercare for retired race horses.
Mayor White has often been asked to serve as an expert witness in pari-mutual and gaming related affairs. He has also presented comment and testimony at Senate, House and regulatory committees in Tallahassee in the creation of law, rules and regulations connected to the industry.
Mayor White fell in love with the Dunnellon area, when as a teenager, he hunted and fished with his Uncle who had a cabin in Gulf Hammock near Inglis. He also frequented the area for years because of his business connections to the horse farms in Ocala. He and Laura purchased property in the Dunnellon area in 2006 and permanently moved full time to the City in 2017.