Nassau County Commissioner Thomas Ford draws two primary opponents

By fundraising thus far, former Commissioner George Spicer is Ford’s biggest threat.

Nassau County Commissioner Thomas Ford has opposition from two candidates in his attempt to win renomination in the Republican Primary — former County Commissioner George Spicer and educator Alyson McCullough.

Ford voted to take the deal offered by developer Riverstone Properties in which Riverstone threatened the county with a Bert Harris Act lawsuit in order to build 11 towers with a maximum height of 85 feet on the southern end of Amelia Island.

“(Attorney Susan) Erdelyi had said earlier about how costly it could be and what’s at stake here, and that could be up to $30 million spread out over all the taxpayers of Nassau County if we were to lose,” Ford said at that Commission meeting. 

District 4 comprises most of western Nassau County. Qualifying for this year’s elections closed at noon Friday.

McCullough’s made the vote a notable part of her campaign, using the issue in an ad in the local News-Leader newspaper even before the vote, referencing Ford’s earlier vote on the ordinance that led to Riverstone’s lawsuit.

However, judging by fundraising thus far, Spicer is Ford’s biggest threat. Spicer outraised Ford by around $42,800 to $34,600, and has more cash on hand, around $24,000 compared to Ford’s total of around $21,430. 

Spicer lost to Ford in 2018, 51.3% to 48.7%, a difference of 356 votes among the 13,232 cast.

Ford received $6,000 in April from businesses sharing the same address as SEDA New Homes, meanwhile SEDA Construction Company is engaged in a lawsuit with the county regarding actions in SEDA’s Flora Parke development. SEDA’s also suing in a similar matter regarding a McKendree Acres property.

Spicer entered the race with $10,000 of his own money in February and another $13,000 in May. In March, he was the recipient of $5,000 combined from Americans for Liberty and Prosperity, Good Government for Florida, Libertatem, Sunshine Leadership and the Sunshine State Freedom Fund.

He also picked up $500 from LIUNA Local 630 in May.

McCullough, trailing far behind the other two candidates, gave her campaign $3,500 in May.

Wes Wolfe

Wes Wolfe is a reporter who's worked for newspapers across the South, winning press association awards for his work in Georgia and the Carolinas. He lives in Jacksonville and previously covered state politics, environmental issues and courts for the News-Leader in Fernandina Beach. You can reach Wes at [email protected] and @WesWolfeFP. Facebook:


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