Two Democrats have filed for DeLaney's seat


Published: Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 12:22 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 9:35 p.m.

In the wake of County Commissioner Paula DeLaney's announcement Wednesday that she will not seek re-election, two Democrats have quickly filed to campaign for her District 3 seat.

On Wednesday, former County Commissioner Robert “Hutch” Hutchinson, the executive director of the land conservation group the Alachua Conservation Trust, submitted the paperwork required to begin a campaign.

On Thursday, Ken Cornell, who with his wife, Angela, owns the real estate firm Cornell & Associates, submitted paperwork with the Supervisor of Elections Office.

In a campaign news release, Cornell, 43, said the county faces tough budgeting decisions and that he would bring prior experience as a certified public accountant to a “line-by-line” evaluation of the county budget.

“Recognizing that these are challenging economic times we need to create more opportunity, improve our services, create the right environment for a thriving economy and continue to move our County forward,” he said in the release. “I am confident that we can find a strong balance of responsible environmental, business and community programs & services to continue to protect the environmental resources we cherish, diversify our tax base and provide stellar services to our citizens.”

Hutchinson, 59, previously served on the board from 1998-2002 and was a driving force behind the Alachua Forever land conservation program that voters first approved in 2000.

In a news release, Hutchinson noted that his time in office also included the construction of the new criminal courthouse, which was funded by a voter-approved sales tax, and the city and county reaching an agreement to consolidate their 911 emergency communications.

“Today, the issues I will focus on include how to fund transportation, particularly road maintenance; how to protect our water resources which are being polluted and given away; and how to innovate in business and technology while also finding ways to help those in need of mental health or substance abuse assistance, or who find themselves homeless for economic reasons,” Hutchinson said in a campaign release. “I intend to pick up where departing commissioners left off by immersing myself in local charitable and faith-based efforts to see how they can work more seamlessly with government programs.”

Cornell and Hutchinson join a field of candidates that already included Republicans Jean Calderwood and Walt Boyer, and no-party-affiliation candidate Bryan C. “Buck” Buchanan.

Calderwood is a former city of Alachua commissioner and mayor. Boyer is an automobile mechanic who campaigned for the board in 2010 before withdrawing during the candidate qualifying period. Buchanan is a deputy with the Alachua County Sheriff's Office.

Contact Christopher Curry at 374-5088 or chris.curry@gvillesun.com.

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