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Voters head to the polls

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By Lou Elliott Jones

The choice of who will lead Levy
County, the state of Florida and the
U.S. Congress all comes down to one
person on Tuesday: the voter.
Balloting will take place in 14
polling locations among the county’s
20 precincts from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on
Tuesday in Levy County as voters
across the nation go to the polls to cast
their ballots in the mid-term elections.
Early voting is underway at the
Supervisor of Elections office at 421
S. Court St, Bronson from 8:30 a.m. to
4 :30 p.m. through Saturday.
At stake in Levy County: two commission
seats. The three Levy County
School Board seats that would normally
be on the ballot were settled earlier this year when no one
filed to oppose incumbents Rick Turner of Yankeetown and
Cameron Asbell of Bronson , and newcomer Robert Philpott
of Williston. Philpott is replacing G. Frank Etheridge who is
retiring from the board after 20 years of service.
In addition three 8th Judicial Circuit judges who won reelection
without opposition are Ysleta W. McDonald, Robert
E. Rountree Jr., and Mark Moseley.
While there won’t be a school board election,
the school board is asking voters to
approve a 0.25 mill property tax increase to
gain matching money from the state.
In addition, county voters will choose
three state representatives — Districts 10 and
22; a state senator — District 14; a governor,
chief financial officer, attorney general, agriculture
commissioner, two U.S.
Representatives— Districts 5 and 6, one U.S.
Senator. The voters will also be asked
whether to retain seven 1st District Court of
Appeals judges and four state Supreme
Court justices.
Voters will also have to decide whether
six amendments will be added to the state
constitution and decide a non-binding referendum
telling Congress Floridians want a
balanced federal budget.
In all, there will be seven different ballots
used on election day to accommodate the
various district lines in Levy County.
The names on Tuesday’s ballot will be
familiar to voters as many are incumbents or
already hold one office and are seeking
another.
Here’s a short rundown on the local elections:
Levy County Commission, District 2
Nancy Bell, Democrat, is the incumbent
facing Chad Johnson, Republican, who
holds a gubernatorial appointment to the
District 1 seat. Both are from Chiefland.
Their race has been the most expensive of
the two commission posts. Nancy Bell has
raised $14,376.44 and spent $12,727.99 as
of the last reporting date on Oct. 15. Johnson
has raised $14,767.29 and spent $10,627.78.
This is a repeat for these two as Johnson,
lost a race for the Democratic nomination to
Bell in 2006 by 2145 to his 2033.
Bell, an accountant who owns Bell &
Westbury, is seeking her third term on the
commission. Prior to that she was elected to
the Levy County School Board. She is a
member of numerous organizations.
Johnson, is an auctioneer who owns
Cracker Auction Service who lives in District
1 but is building a new home in District 2,
has resigned his appointment effective inmid-November, He was appointed to the commission in July
2009 to replace Tony Parker, who was convicted in federal
court of soliciting and accepting a bribe. Johnson’s website
is:http://www.chadforlevy.com/
Levy County Commission, District 4
Ryan Bell, Republican, of Chiefland is facing incumbent
Lilly Rooks of Rosewood. This is a first-time these two have
run against each other. Ryan Bell has raised $12,950.00 and
spent $12,159.67. Rooks reported raising $3,775.00 and
spending $2,941.40.
Bell is a businessman who operates Bell’s Catering,
BubbaQue’s and Hungry Howie’s Restaurants. This is his
first foray into politics. He is a member of several chambers
of commerce. His website is: www.electryanbell.com
Rooks, a CNA who has also worked as an EMT, is president
of the Florida Small Counties Coalition and has been a
county commissioner for 16 years.
State House District 10
Incumbent Leonard Bembry, a Democrat, faces
Republican David L. Feigin of Cedar Key.
Bembry, a businessman from Madison, is in his first term
as a representative. His Facebook web address is:
h t t p : / / w w w . f a c e b o o k . c o m / p a g e s / L e o n a r d -
Bembry/130445457104

Feigin, is retired from the U.S. Coast Guard. He is a businessman
and is making his first foray into state politics. Hiswebsite is:
http://daveforflorida.org/daveforflorida.org/vote_Dave_for _florida.html">http://daveforflorida.org/daveforflorida.org/vote_Dave_for
_florida.html


State House District 22
Keith Perry, a Republican from Gainesville, faces John
Paugh, Democrat of Gainesville.
State Senate District 14
Incumbent Steve Oelrich, Republican, is opposed by
Perry C. McGriff Jr., Democrat. Both are from Gainesville.
Oelrich is a former Alachua County Sheriff, who won the
seat in 2006. His web pages is: http://www.steveoelrich.com.
McGriff, a former member of the state House, is a retired
real estate agent. He is a former Alachua County and
Gainesville city commissioner. He is trying to win the seat
he ran for in the 2006 Democratic primary. His website is:
http://www.perrymcgriff.com/