Lowe files for 2013 re-election effort

Gainesville Mayor Craig Lowe, shown during the dedication ceremony of the Florida Innovation Hub at UF on Jan. 11, 2012, will run for re-election.

Matt Stamey/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Monday, January 16, 2012 at 9:48 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 8:19 a.m.

Craig Lowe last week officially kicked off his bid for re-election as Gainesville's mayor, filing paperwork to run for a second three-year term in 2013.

Lowe, who signed up Friday with the Alachua County elections supervisor, said he is seeking another term to continue pursuing goals on issues like environmental protection, transportation and economic development.

Lowe, 54, will have at least 14 months to campaign and raise money, as the 2013 election will be held in March or April, per city ordinance.

So far, he is the only one in the race.

Lowe said supporters had asked him whether he was running and how they could help so he decided to file the paperwork, even before voters go to the polls on Jan. 31 to elect two new city commissioners.

“They are interested in helping the re-election effort,” he said, “and I wanted to be in a position to allow that to happen.”

Lowe will be in Washington, D.C., this week, attending the U.S. Conference of Mayors' winter meeting, and will be making his case for Gainesville's current economic-development push — the so-called innovation economy, driven by startup companies that rise out of University of Florida research.

Lowe said he will be talking with Obama administration staff to “promote Gainesville as the premiere location for the innovation economy.”

On the transportation front, he and other commissioners are going after a bus rapid transit system, a key to the Plan East Gainesville blueprint to build up the east side, that would connect east and west Gainesville via the UF campus.

“We wouldn't focus on any single mode of transportation,” he said. “What we need to do is focus on transportation choices so people have a choice, to the degree we can provide it, to how they get form home to work to school to shopping.”

With seven years of experience on the City Commission, Lowe was one of five candidates who entered the 2010 mayoral race to replace the term-limited Pegeen Hanrahan.

He got 40.1 percent of the vote in the general election, forcing a runoff with Don Marsh, who got 29.1 percent.

In the runoff, Lowe edged Marsh by 52 votes, bringing in 50.2 percent of the 12,178 votes cast.

Commissioner Randy Wells, who won the District 4 seat in a runoff in 2010, will be up for re-election in 2013 as well, but no one has filed paperwork to run for that seat yet.

On Monday, Wells said he would be seeking re-election.

“I'm definitely planning to run again,” he said. “Of course, I hope all citizens are focused on the upcoming city elections.”

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