The Gainesville Mayor and District 4 Elections and the Florida Presidential Preference Primary will be held on March 25, 2015.
In the Mayoral Race we finally have a chance to rid ourselves of Republican Ed Braddy, who filed four(4) days ago. His opponents so far are former City Commissoner Lauren Poe and Donald E. Shepherd Sr. Poe, son of former UF Director of Bands and former Gainesville Community Band Director Gerald Poe, is the best candidate so far. He is moderate, but much better than the conservative, autos-over-public transit Braddy.
In District 4, Adrian Hayes-Santos, ran for City Commision last spring and lost, and John Uman, who has run for state representative, are the candidates. They are both Democrats.
Turnout will be higher because the Florida presidential primary will be on the same day. The other three out of four years city elections are the only ones on the ballot and turnout is miserable. They were moved away from fall to focus attention on city issues, but the main effect has been empty voting places.
Because of dismal turnout, a group called Gainesville Votes is working to move city elections back to the fall. They are probably right. Focusing on local issues does no good if people are not paying attention, which is what happens if city races are alone on the ballot. People may not look far down the ballot if many races are on the ballot, but again the alternative is not paying attention at all. Putting levels of office on their own separate ballots may help.
The idea of moving city races back to the fall ballot deserves a great deal of consideration and should be implemented.