by Joe Courter
Nope, City election is not over. It would have been if a few dozen people in District 1 had voted or voted differently, but instead there is a runoff on May 1 between Gigi Simmons and incumbent Charles Goston.
Simmons came really close to an outright victory March 20, and we fully hope that she will prevail in the runoff. Gail Johnson, who won resoundingly in March to unseat Harvey Budd, has endorsed Simmons, and after sitting through all those joint forums, she has a great seat to understand the differences between Gigi and Charles. The third candidate in that race, Ty Loudd, has also endorsed Gigi.
Goston’s poor attendance at Commission meetings and major questions about his claimed circulation of his newspaper Black College Monthly underscore the need for change.
Do what you can to help get out the District 1 vote.
Beyond that, here is a thumbnail view of what’s coming up in the Primaries on August 28 for our region:
U.S. Senate: Incumbent Bill Nelson will have some challengers in the primary, but the main event is November,
Florida Governor: We like Andrew Gillum in the primary. Gwen Graham and Philip Levine are also in the running.
U.S. Rep. District 3: Defeating Yoho is much desired.
Dushyant Gosai, Yvonne Hinson Hayes, and Tom Wells are in the primary as challengers. All three would be vast improvements in what will be a tough race thanks to gerrymandering; hopefully, unity will reign after the primary.
Wells has been a candidate against Yoho previously and has been showing great improvement on the stump.
State Senate District 8: Kayser Enncking and Olysha Magruder are Democrats running to unseat Keith Perry. Both women are good choices with the former a doctor and the latter a teacher. We like Olysha a lot.
State Rep. District 21: Unseating Chuck Clemons is the goal here. As of now, there are two democrats in the primary, Jason Haeseler and Amol Jethwani. Amol is very active with College Democrats and has a fired up youthful core of workers and progressive vision. Again, a hope for unity after the primary.
Alachua Co. District 2: Democratic Primary is a race between two really nice people on the Democratic side — Randy Wells and Marihelen Wheeler in a race to succeed Lee Pinkoson. We like Marihelen.
Alachua Co. District 4: Re-elect Ken Cornell. No opponent at this time.
School Board District 1: We like Tina Certain to defeat incumbent April Griffin.
School Board District 3 and 5: At press time, neither Gunnar Paulson nor Rob Hyatt have challengers.
Other candidates can still jump in or opt out through July 30, but this looks like the menu.