Dianne Williams-Cox faces two challengers in Tallahassee City Commission re-election bid

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Shelby Green and Adner Marcelin are vying to unseat Williams-Cox.

Shelby Green says she decided to run for Tallahassee City Commission Seat 5 last summer, when she “witnessed our City Commissioners’ refusal to mobilize resources and information to our most vulnerable communities.”

Green, a research fellow and former Soil and Water Conservation District supervisor, along with former Tallahassee NAACP President Adner Marcelin are challenging incumbent Dianne Williams-Cox in the Aug. 23 Primary Election.

When the City Commission voted to resume utility disconnections, Green said her concerns were dismissed after she spoke at City Commission meetings.

“This poor level of service and representation is unacceptable and was the main catalyst in me deciding to run for office,” Green said. “I want to rebuild the public’s trust in our local government and strengthen the city’s commitment to the people.”

Green, who has been endorsed by the Tallahassee Board of Realtors and Run for Something political committee, says she wants to address poverty and ensure residents can afford their utility bills.

“If elected, I would set up a program to start tracking residents who are chronically late on paying their utility bill to better identify and target resources into energy burdened communities,” she said.

Williams-Cox agrees poverty “is the root cause of many issues that we face in our community.”

“We made it a key part of our strategic plan at my insistence so that we could measure and monitor the impact,” she said. “Creating job opportunities, providing job training opportunities, livable wages, affordable housing, and reducing gun violence will aid in the reduction and future eradication of poverty and this is exactly what we have been doing.”

Williams-Cox says she will continue to serve the community regardless of the outcome of the election.

“I have worked in this community at the grassroots and many other levels to help build our community, especially in areas that had been previously underserved,” she said. “As a Commissioner, I have worked tirelessly to make sure that we provide support and service in a diverse and inclusive manner for all areas of our community.”

Marcelin previously worked as lawyer Ben Crump’s law firm administrator. Marcelin has been critical of Williams-Cox’s support of the $27 million Blueprint allocation to upgrade Florida State University’s Doak Campbell Stadium and her accepting $4,500 in contributions from current and former members of FSU leadership. He wrote a letter to FSU President Richard McCullough urging them to rescind their request.

“We have to restore trust in our leadership,” Marcelin said. “Right now we don’t have that, and it affects every single decision City Hall makes.”

Marcelin has been endorsed by the Tallahassee Professional Firefighters Union, the Leon County Democratic Environmental Caucus, Crump, former Mayor Dot Inman-Johnson — who is his Campaign Manager — and City Commissioner Jack Porter, among others.

Williams-Cox has the support of the Big Bend Police Benevolent Association, Grow Tallahassee, former City Commissioner Elaine Bryant as well as former Leon County School Board member Maggie Lewis-Butler.

If none of the candidates receive more than 50% of the vote on Aug. 23, the top two vote-getters will square off in the Nov. 8 General Election.

Aimee Sachs

Aimee Sachs covers politics in her hometown of Tallahassee and the Panhandle. The University of Florida graduate began her career as a sportswriter for the Tallahassee Democrat, Lakeland Ledger and MLB.com. She has also worked for Courthouse News Service and was a senior reporter for The Florida Channel before joining Florida Politics. You can email Aimee at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @AimSachs.


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