Alachua County Commissioner Mary Alford resigned on Monday in a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis, citing a challenging few years and recent family deaths.
The resignation took effect at 10 a.m. on Monday with 30 months left on Alford’s term. Her resignation also came on the heels of a report by The Gainesville Sun that Alford lives outside her district.
Now, Alachua County citizens will vote to decide another seat in November. According to Alachua County Attorney Sylvia Torres, Florida law allows the citizens to vote on the replacement at the next election if 28 months or more remains on term.
However DeSantis could also fill the seat until the fall election. If Alford’s term had fewer than 28 months, a DeSantis appointee could have remained to finish the term.
Currently, Commissioners Ken Cornell and Marihelen Wheeler have filed to run for their seats in November.
So far, only James Elmore has filed to run against Cornell with Wheeler running unopposed. But the qualifying period remains open until noon on June 17.
Wheeler also faced questions about her residency earlier in May even as Mildred Russell, appointed by DeSantis, sits on the Alachua County School Board because of a residential issue with Diyonne McGraw in 2021.
With Alford’s resignation, three boards in Alachua County could get overhauled with three seats open on the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners, four seats available on the School Board of Alachua County and four seats available on the Gainesville City Commission.