Faith is focus for City Commission candidate

Published: Monday, January 3, 2011 at 5:43 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 3, 2011 at 5:43 p.m.

Ramon Trujillo, who has lived in Gainesville for about seven years, entered the race for City Commission District 3 late last month on a faith-based platform.

Trujillo, 44, a registered Republican running for office for the second time, criticized the ordinance the commission passed in 2008 to protect civil rights of gay, lesbian and transgendered people and said he wanted to see a commission that shared his values.

“I just feel that it’s time that the people with Judeo-Christian values be heard and that some of the hogwash in this community be silenced,” he said.

Trujillo said that when he was 18, he was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, which causes symptoms of both schizophrenia and affective disorders such as depression or bipolar disorder.

He said he is switching doctors to get another opinion about his diagnosis and has been off his prescribed medication for about a month.

The disorder, though, would not keep him from being an effective commissioner, he said.

In 2006, he entered as a Republican to run against incumbent Cynthia Chestnut, a Democrat, and Lloyd Bailey in an Alachua County Commission race before eventually withdrawing.

With four weeks before qualifying ends, Trujillo is now the fifth candidate running to represent District 3, covering southwest Gainesville, joining Ozzy Angulo, Susan Bottcher, Jimmy Harnsberger and Rob Zeller. The seat is now held by Warren Nielsen, who is not running for re-election.

Trujillo, who is single, moved to the area from Pompano Beach and is unemployed and living on disability income with plans to start a political marketing business, he said.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in pastoral ministries from Warner Southern College, a Christian institution now called Warner University, in Lake Wales. Describing himself as a “little bit right of Attila the Hun on most things,” he said he also would be “pro-law enforcement,” saying he didn’t think policing was a big enough priority at City Hall. “We seem to have our priorities upside down sometimes,” he said.

But Trujillo’s guiding theme is faith, something he says he won’t shy away from if elected.

“I’m not going to leave my Christianity at the doorstep when I enter City Hall,” he said. The nonpartisan elections for the City Commission Districts 2 and 3 seats and one of the at-large seats are scheduled for March 15. The winners will serve three-year terms and be paid $30,403 a year.

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