Former mayor jumps into GNV mayoral race

Gary Gordon
Gary Gordon announced his run for Gainesville mayor on the steps of City Hall on Tuesday.

Former mayor Gary Gordon joined six other candidates on Tuesday seeking to be the next Gainesville mayor. 

Gordon, a former city commissioner and mayor-commissioner from 1983-86, announced his campaign on the steps of city hall. 

“I’m running because I found I couldn’t support any of the leading contenders,” Gordon said. 

On the top of his platform, Gordon said he looks to control out-of-town developers, protect neighborhoods against gentrification and adverse zoning, restore citizen-centered government and cut wasteful spending. 

Gordon said he would also push to cut the mayor position’s salary by $10,000 and try to switch back to the mayor-commissioner system the city had before 1998. 

“With my candidacy the people of Gainesville can now choose between someone who’s been a mayor when the city was well run, and candidates who haven’t,” Gordon said. 

Gordon will host a kick-off event for his campaign on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Cypress & Grove Brewing Co. 

Two current city commissioners, David Arreola and Harvey Ward, have launched mayoral campaigns. Ed Bielarski, former head of Gainesville Regional Utilities, also announced a mayoral campaign when the city commission fired him in January. Bielarski kept the promise and filed to run. 

Along with those four are July Thomas, Donald Shepherd, and Ansaun Fisher. The deadline to file is Friday, leaving open the possibility that additional candidates could join the fray. 

Along with the mayor race, the districts 2, 3 and 4 commission seats are up for election. 

For District 2, Jo Lee Beaty, Ed Book and James Ingle have filed to run. In District 3, Patrick Ingle, Michael Raburn, Casey Willits and Dejeon Cain have started campaigns. And for District 4, Bryan Eastman and Christian Newman are running. 

Gainesville’s redistricting process caused three candidates to file twice in different districts.

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