Races set in Gainesville city elections
Published: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 1:45 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 1:45 p.m.
The races are set for Gainesville’s March city elections.
— Alachua County Democratic Black Caucus: 6 p.m. Monday, Alachua County Administration Building, 12 SE 1st St.
— Alachua County League of Women Voters: 1-4 p.m. Feb. 23, First United Methodist Church, 419 NE 1st St.
— Duckpond & University Park neighborhood associations: 4 p.m. March 3, United Church of Gainesville, 1624 NW 5th Ave.
Qualifying ended at noon Friday, with six candidates in the race for mayor and three in the race for City Commission District 4.
The candidates for mayor include former City Commissioner Ed Braddy; former City Commissioner Scherwin Henry; former Gainesville-Alachua County Regional Airport Authority board chair Pete Johnson; incumbent Mayor Craig Lowe; Donald Shepherd, a resident of the Lamplighter Mobile Home Park and frequent attendee of commission meetings; and Mark Venzke, who ran for the commission in 2012.
A seventh candidate who previously had filed the required paperwork to launch a campaign, barber shop owner Edward Earl Young, did not file qualifying papers last week.
The City Commission District 4 race includes University of Florida student Alfredo Espinosa, former Mayor-Commissioner Mac McEachern and incumbent Randy Wells.
McEachern’s home, which is his registered voting address, was in the former boundaries of District 4 but is not within the newly drawn boundaries that commissioners approved on Dec. 20 when completing the redistricting process.
Earlier last week, Supervisor of Elections Pam Carpenter asked the City Attorney’s Office for legal guidance on how to deal with a candidate who might not live in the district but signed a sworn affidavit of district residency.
In an email to commissioners last Thursday, City Attorney Nicolle Shalley said the Supervisor’s Office served an administrative role for city elections and “must accept completed qualifying papers submitted under oath or affirmation.”
At that point, if another candidate or a registered voter in District 4 filed a lawsuit to challenge a candidate’s residency, it would be a matter for the court system to decide, Shalley wrote.
The city elections will take place March 19, when the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Information on early and absentee voting has not yet been posted by the county elections office.
Christopher Curry is a Gainesville Sun staff writer.