District 3 - W.D. "Don" Salter


Don Salter is a retired Santa Rosa County District Manager with Gulf Power Company where he was responsible for all company operations. He retired in 2000 after a 32 year career. Salter was first elected to office in November 2000 and re-elected in 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016. He is presently the most senior Commissioner of the Board of County Commissioners and has served as Chairman in 2004, 2009, and 2014. 


Salter graduated from Troy State University with a Master's of Science degree in Management.

Military Service

Salter proudly served his country as a United States Army Paratrooper from 1965 to 1968. His last fifteen months in Vietnam were served with the 173rd Airborne Brigade as a combat platoon Sergeant where he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal.

First 8 Years Service

During Salter’s first eight years of office, he was instrumental in economic development, agriculture, military and veteran affairs. He has worked for many years protecting and enhancing military installations, especially NAS Whiting Field. 

During this time, he provided the vision and leadership to help purchase several thousand acres of land to prevent development encroachment around our military bases. The NAS Whiting Field encroachment prevention program is considered “The Navy Model.” He served as Chairman of the Santa Rosa County and Escambia County Base Realignment and Closure "BRAC" Committee for several years and continues to serve on numerous military committees throughout the region.

Community Involvement

During the last 20 years, Salter has been involved in many community organizations and served as chairman numerous times. He has received several leadership awards: 

  • Community Leader of the Year Award
  • Santa Rosa County Hall of Fame Award
  • Santa Rosa County Man of the Year Award
  • Spirit of Santa Rosa Award, Business Leader of the Year Award

Salter is the founder of the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Plaza and continues to serve as Chairman of this organization. He is also Chairman of the Emerald Coast Honor Flight, Santa Rosa Initiative Committee and Chairman of the Santa Rosa Military Advisory Council.

Personal Life

Salter is a native of Santa Rosa County. He is married to Kaye (née Matlock). They have a son Donnie, a daughter-in-law Mandy, and two grandchildren Ethan and Evelyn.