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Gary Bergosh

Gary Lee Bergosh is a Circuit Court Judge in Santa Rosa County, Florida, and a former Escambia County School Board member representing District 1. He and his wife Carissa, a schoolteacher who served on the School Board in his stead during his deployment to Iraq, were both adopted as children and adopted their first child, Alex-Sergey, in 2002.[1]

Gary Bergosh
Born March 12, 1967
Occupation Circuit Court Judge
Spouse Carissa Bergosh
Parents Robert & Sally Bergosh
Children two sons

Bergosh grew up in Pensacola, where his adoptive stepfather was stationed at the Navy base. He graduated from Pensacola High School in 1985, received his bachelor's degree from the University of West Florida in 1989 and earned a law degree from the University of Memphis in 1992. He joined the Marines, rising to the rank of captain and leaving active duty in 1996, and went on to work for the Department of Defense as an attorney for federal schools.

After the death of School Board member Hal Mason in 2000, Bergosh applied to serve for the unexpired two years of Mason's term. He was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush on November 17, 2000,[2] and was reaffirmed by election in 2002.

Bergosh remained a company commander in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, and in January 2003 he was called to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom. His wife Carissa, at the time director of the HOSTS mentoring program for students with reading difficulties, was appointed by Governor Bush to serve on the School Board during his absence.[3] After a nine-month deployment to Kuwait and Iraq as executive officer of the 4th Assault Amphibious Battalion, for which he was nominated for a Bronze Star, Bergosh returned to Pensacola and reclaimed his seat in January 2004.[4]

On September 5, 2006, Bergosh defeated public defender Jeff Lewis for a Santa Rosa County circuit judgeship with 54 percent of the vote. In the same election, Gary's brother Jeff Bergosh was elected to the School Board District 1 seat. They celebrated their joint victories at the Dog House Deli.

I'm just an adopted kid whose dad was enlisted in the Navy. It's a great country when an average person from an average background can be elected to a position like this. I'm humbled to receive the support of my fellow citizens.[5]


  1. "Pensacola couple's delayed dream comes true with baby from Russia." Pensacola News Journal, February 20, 2002.
  2. "Lawyer fills school board vacancy." Pensacola News Journal, November 18, 2000.
  3. "Bergosh's wife joins School Board while he fights terrorism." Pensacola News Journal, January 25, 2003.
  4. "Reservist plans return to School Board post." Pensacola News Journal, January 15, 2004.
  5. "Two new judges elected to First Circuit." Pensacola News Journal, September 6, 2006.