14 will vie for 3 City Commission seats


Published: Friday, January 28, 2011 at 4:45 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 28, 2011 at 9:55 p.m.

Since at least the late 1990s, there has been no city election cycle with more than 10 candidates — until now.

Facts

Races at a glance

Following are candi­dates for the three races up for election on March 15:

At-large City Commis­sion seat: Dikassa Dixon; Jeffrey G. Fiedler; Thomas Hawkins, the incumbent; Don Marsh; and Richard Selwach.

District 2 seat: Todd Chase; James Ingle; Rob­ert Krames; and Lauren Poe, the incumbent.

District 3 seat: Ozzy Angulo, Susan Bot­tcher, Jimmy Harnsberger, Ramon Trujillo

Upcoming forums

Sunday

Sponsored by University Park Neighborhood As­sociation

4 p.m.; United Church of Gainesville, 1624 NW Fifth Ave.

Monday

Sponsored by Human Rights Council of North Central Florida

7 p.m.; Pride Community Center of North Central, 3131 NW 13th St. Suite 62

Tuesday

Sponsored by Business Community Coalition

4 p.m.; Paramount Plaza Hotel and Suites, 2900 SW 13th St.

Cost is $18 per person; seating is limited

The ballot for the March 15 Gainesville City Commission elections was set Friday, when qualifying ended with 14 contenders, the most crowded field in recent memory.

Pam Carpenter, Alachua County's supervisor of elections, said more candidates can be expected when there is no incumbent, as is the case with the District 3 seat, which represents southwest Gainesville.

But for District 2, representing the northwest, and one of the two at-large seats, the incumbents didn't scare off challengers.

The candidates who qualified for the at-large seat are: Dikassa Dixon; Jeffrey G. Fiedler; Thomas Hawkins, the incumbent; Don Marsh; and Richard Selwach.

The District 2 candidates are: Todd Chase; James Ingle; Robert Krames; and Lauren Poe, the incumbent.

The District 3 candidates are: Ozzy Angulo, Susan Bottcher, Jimmy Harnsberger, Ramon Trujillo and Rob Zeller.

"The citizens of Gainesville have quite a selection," Carpenter said. "With 14 candidates on the ballot, there's someone for everyone to come out to vote on."

They won't have to wait long to get their first look at the candidates.

The University Park Neighborhood Association is hosting a forum Sunday, with two more to follow Monday and Tuesday.

Selwach and Fiedler entered the fray late in the game, signing up Monday and Wednesday.

This will be the fourth city campaign for Selwach, 48, who has never gotten more than 10.5 percent of the vote.

Fiedler, 60, said Friday that he is a part-time stand-up comedian who has "no illusions of being able to tilt the big, financially backed windmill campaigns."

But, he added, "I sure would like to win."

Both city races in 2010 had five candidates and both went to runoffs, as no candidate got more than 50 percent of the vote the first time around.

The number of viable candidates makes it likely there will be at least one runoff, which would be held April 12.

"But somebody could come in and win it outright," Carpenter said. "That's why we count the votes."

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