Leon County Commission race getting crowded

Published: Jan. 3, 2020 at 7:07 PM EST
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By: Julie Montanaro | WCTV Eyewitness News

January 3, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The race for the Leon County Commission is getting crowded.

Seven people are now vying for the At Large Group 1 seat after incumbent Mary Ann Lindley opted not to seek another term.

Kelly Otte announced her candidacy Friday. She is the Executive Director of the Pace Center for Girls.

Otte said she decided to run after watching her father struggle in his final years to find affordable housing and affordable care.

"That was one of the things that made me say, if I were in public office I would have the ability to convene a conversation around that and I might be able to do something to fill the gap for other seniors that are living on fixed incomes," Otte said.

Otte says the community cannot combat crime without addressing poverty.

"I think the community should be outraged that 42% of the people who live here can't afford to live here," Otte said. "I believe that the rising poverty rates are attached to the rising crime rates, and the violence that we're seeing is because people are scared and people feel disconnected because people can't earn a living wage and support their families."

"We have to figure out how to create jobs that create living wages that allow people to feel like they can take care of their families no matter if you live on the north side or the south side of this community," Otte said.

There are six other people who have already filed to run for the Leon County Commission At Large Group 1 seat : Erik David, Melissa Villar,

Jeff Hendry, Lisa Brown, Scott Flowers and Danielle Irwin.

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