A crowded field of candidates are vying for the open seat for Leon County Commission District 2.
The seat became open when Commissioner Jimbo Jackson died from complications related to COVID-19.
Christian Caban is a small business owner and community leader. Originally from Ocala, Caban said District 2 “needs someone to vouch for it and recruit businesses there that create economic opportunities.”
“If you look at Tallahassee, there’s a clear divide in politics right now,” Caban said. “I am a fresh voice that hopefully can connect parties that have clear, opposite views on things.”
Caban has been endorsed by Grow Tallahassee and Paul Mitchell, a partner with Florida’s largest lobbying firm, The Southern Group.
Will Crowley says he decided to run after learning about the displacement happening at Meadows Mobile Home Park.
“When I spoke to a sitting Commissioner about the issue and asked why we aren’t spending more on housing support, I was told that ‘housing is not the purview of local government,’” Crowley said. “I believe this abdication is the root of our problems in Leon County. I’m tired of seeing our leaders give away millions in public funds to their friends only to play broke when the people need support.”
Crowley’s endorsements include former Tallahassee Mayor Debbie Lightsey, former Leon County Commissioner Cliff Thaell, the Leon County Democratic Environmental Caucus and The Florida Squeeze.
Artist and storm water expert Max Epstein also felt the need to run “after showing up to Commission meeting to Commission meeting without our elected leaders listening.”
“I’ve seen entire neighborhoods demolished and groves of century oaks clearcut for infrastructure projects,” Epstein said. “We want development, but not at the cost of our quality of life.”
He says poverty and affordable housing are among his priorities but the biggest issue facing District 2 is the cleanup of Lake Munson. He has been endorsed by the Tallahassee Sewage and Wakulla Basin Advocacy Group as well as the Leon County Democratic Environmental Caucus.
Manny Joanos finds himself in the race after serving on the Leon County Commission from 1990 to 1998. He lost to Jackson for the District 2 seat in the 2016 General Election.
“We desperately need amenities such as improved stormwater management, better streets, sidewalks, solutions to sewer and park improvements,” Joanos said. “For far too long, District 2 has been overlooked and I intend to make a point to bring forth positive changes now and in the future.”
Joanos says crime is the biggest issue that needs to be addressed along with infrastructure needs. He is endorsed by the Tallahassee Board of Realtors.
Lynda Gayle Bell is no stranger to public office. She served on the Homestead City Council, Miami-Dade City Commission and was Mayor of Homestead from 2007 to 2009. She is President of Florida Right to Life.
Sabrina Allen is a longtime educator who previously ran for Superintendent. She has said one of her top priorities if elected is reducing crime.
Hannah Crow is a communications professional. On her campaign website, she says her priorities include responsible growth, safe neighborhoods and job creation.
A candidate can win outright if they receive more than 50% of the vote on Aug. 23, or else there will be a runoff in the Nov. 8 General Election.