by Joe Courter
Another election cycle for the City of Gainesville has come around, with voting scheduled for March 17 and the runoff for April 14. And with multiple candidates in both the District 1 and At-Large races, a runoff seems likely for both.
Never does your vote have more weight than in a local election, and with the typical unfortunately low turn out (15-20 percent) that adds to it more.
The three leading contenders in the At-Large race are Jay Curtis, Adrian Hayes-Santos, and Harvey Budd. All three have strong monetary support ($32K, $16K and $21K respectively) and have received endorsements from various community organizations. For this race we endorse Harvey Budd, whose long service and active presence in our community gives him a valuable perspective. He is a longtime Certified Public Accountant and resident since 1965, and has served numerous Boards in the City. His endorsements come from the North Central Florida Central Labor Council, the African American Accountability Alliance and a co-endorsement from the Sierra Club.
In the District 1 race, the person who rises to the top for us is Chris Weaver. Weaver, while younger and having a fraction of the money his principle opponents have, is favored because of his education in public finance and budgeting, his pubic service and his being a recently honorably discharged military veteran, all of which mark him as good commissioner material.
The incumbent Yvonne Hinson-Rawls is up for re-election, but after disappointing votes by her on the 8th Avenue lane changes and the ill-thought proposal for bicycle licensing we have drifted away from her and our prior endorsement from when she ran the first time.
There has developed in this town with the last election in the city a rather negative “attack your opponent” mentality, including rumors and even outright lies. This is a shame, and not what we should see in this city. More disturbing is that these tactics have come from within the Democratic Party against other Democrats, such as what went on against Annie Orlando from Helen Warren supporters last election. Some of this has started against Harvey Budd. I would strongly advise checking the facts, and even talking to the candidates themselves about things that seem negative that you’ve heard about them. D