Civil rights attorney Ben Crump announced Wednesday he is endorsing nonprofit head and Leon County employee Paula DeBoles-Johnson in her bid for the Leon Commission District 5 seat.
DeBoles-Johnson is one of six candidates running to fill the seat currently held by Kristin Dozier, who is leaving the seat to run for Tallahassee Mayor. Crump has shown support for candidates in other races, giving a $1,000 donation to his former law firm manager and Tallahassee Commission candidate Adner Marcelin.
In a statement to Florida Politics, Crump said DeBoles-Johnson is a neighbor and friend who has the leadership traits that the commission needs.
“She leads with grace and integrity, and she’s also paved the way for others to have the courage to do the same. Her commitment to making Tallahassee better while simultaneously leaving an indelible mark as a leader will be positive and necessary to make our community one of the best in the state,” Crump said.
A double FAMU graduate, DeBoles-Johnson has professional experience with the Florida Department of Health, Department of Children and Families and Department of Transportation, as well as the Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service. She has volunteered with several nonprofits and boards including the Southern Scholarship Foundation, Elder Care Services, Tallahassee-Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, Tallahassee Human Relations Council, Airport Advisory Committee, Girl Scouts and Leadership Tallahassee.
She told Florida Politics she has spent more than a year speaking and strategizing with community members on how to tackle issues like reducing crime, increasing the quantity of safe and affordable housing, expanding broadband, and more.
“We have an opportunity to be leaders in these areas if we are willing to try new approaches and take bold action right now. I believe we can make Tallahassee a place where we can all contribute and thrive,” DeBoles-Johnson said. “However, nothing will change without different voices, innovative ideas, and advocates for the people, like me, who are committed to the success of all of Leon County residents, not just a select few.”
The six candidates will first be on the ballot during the Aug. 23 primary. If no candidate gets above 50%, there will be a runoff in November.