Four candidates are standing for Kristin Dozier ‘s Seat of the Leon County Commission: Jay revell, Dustin Ryan Rivest, Paula DeBoles-Johnson and David hawking.
Dozier has already announced that she will not run again in 2022.
Revell is the newest addition to the race, and perhaps the most prominent person to date.
He is known in the business and political circles of Tallahassee. Before opening a public relations firm in 2020, he was vice president of the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce. He is also a former executive director of the Tallahassee Downtown Improvement Authority and worked as mayor of Tallahassee John daileyDailey’s assistance to the Leon County Commission.
“My career has been rich in experiences, but all were aimed at making this community a better community,” he said.
Revell told Florida Politics he believes local government should focus on three issues: public safety, job creation, and providing residents with a high quality of life.
“This is really what drives people to choose to live in our community very often,” he said.
He said that halting the rise in the crime rate in Tallahassee in recent years should be accompanied by a balance between law enforcement and community and cultural change on the ground.
“If we’re going to get ahead of some of our crime issues, we’ll have to think differently about the upstream approach. And this is something that I am absolutely determined to invest more resources in, ”he said.
Revell also believes that while there have been improvements in Tallahassee’s economy, there is still room to create additional, better-paying jobs in the city.
“It is the job of our local government to make sure that every day we do all we can to create an environment where jobs can thrive,” he said.
One issue that members of the Leon County Commission have recently faced is the controversy Master Plan allocation of $ 20 million at Florida State University for structural renovations to Doak S. Campbell Stadium.
Revell said the local government should have helped FSU with the renovations in another way, not with Blueprint money.
“Do we all want to support FSU and the stadium? It is a huge economic driver for our community. I think the answer is yes, ”he said. “I’m not sure over-committing our economic development dollars to this project is the right decision at this time. But I think finding a solution to solve the problem FSU is facing is something extremely important for our community.
Revell’s name appeared in evidence collected for the JT Burnette Case. Burnette, a Tallahassee businessman, was sentenced to three years in prison after being found guilty of his role in corrupting Tallahassee town hall. Scott Maddox, a former Tallahassee city commissioner, was also sentenced to jail after pleading guilty to fraud charges, Burnette’s trial testified.
TMaddox ext messages released in the BurnettThe case showed that Maddox and Andrew Jones from VancoreJones, a communications firm, discussed Revell’s membership in the House leadership while advocating for Paige carter smith, Maddox’s girlfriend, to become the new executive director of the DIA, according to information from Tallahassee Democrat.
Revell told Florida Politics that he was never influenced by anyone to fill any of the positions in his career.
“I went for those positions, because that’s where I felt I could have the most impact,” he said. “I have been very, very lucky to work with amazing people in all of these roles. And I like to think that I left each of them better than I found them.
Revell has donated money to many local candidates in the past, including $ 30 to Nick maddox in 2013, $ 50 to Superintendent Scott Maddox’s campaign in 2015, and $ 300 to Dailey’s campaign this year, according to Leon County Election Supervisor records
Dustin Ryan Rivest
Rivest is a small business owner from Tallahassee with approximately 18 employees. He has spent his entire life in District 5 of Leon County, except when he attended Florida International University on a football scholarship.
He said he was running to make sure the city can bring back its young residents after receiving training or education elsewhere.
“Twenty years from now, after my daughter graduates from college, wherever she goes, I hope Tallahassee will be able to inspire her to come home,” he said.
If elected, he wants to target crime, poverty and homelessness. He believes that to do this, county residents need the county’s help to connect them to the right training for the jobs that businesses are looking for.
“I firmly believe that jobs are what help people lift themselves out of poverty and on the road to prosperity,” he said. “In this city we have a lot of people looking for jobs. So we also have a lot of employers looking for employees. So what is the middle ground here? What are we talking about? We are talking about training.
On the master plan issue, Rivest said he couldn’t take a firm position on whether he would have supported the funding because he was not present. However, he said the Blueprint board should have waited until they had other options.
“FSU could have always received that money at the end, but I think what we should have done is save, put in a volley and say, ‘Hey, let’s get more feedback. Let’s give that a little more time, ”he said.
Locally, Rivest donated $ 250 to Mike Woodcampaign for Leon County Sheriff in 2016. Federally, he also made three donations of $ 130 in 2020 to Winred, a Republican Party fundraising platform.
Rivest too tweeted in 2020, at Donald trumpon the Twitter account, a photo of several Trump signs in his front yard.
DeBoles-Johnson is the head of employee engagement and performance for Leon County, as well as the executive director of a nonprofit she founded, the Capital City Youth Development Corporation. She is also a current member of the Tallahassee Police Department Citizen Advisory Committee and a former member of the TPD Citizen Police Academy and the Tallahassee Human Relations Council.
She said she had five campaign priorities: reducing crime, promoting living wages and increasing support for small businesses, expanding broadband and the environment. She said she is focusing on these issues because community members have told her that is what is important to them.
She said broadband expansion is needed to help county residents grow economically.
“We use technology in all aspects of our life, every day. It is important that we have affordable internet services throughout the county, for everyone, ”she said.
DeBoles-Johnson said she recognizes many small local businesses that have closed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. She wants Leon County to develop educational resources and programs to help teach business owners how to deal with disasters, especially after lessons learned locally from the pandemic.
“Now that we know where our small businesses are lacking, there are things we can put in place to help educate them, to make them stronger in the event of tragedies that may befall them,” she said. .
DeBoles-Johnson declined to comment on funding for Blueprint Stadium as she is a current Leon County employee and county commissioners are still making funding decisions.
Locally, she donated $ 50 to Dustin Danielsmayoral campaign in 2018. At the federal level, she donated over $ 100 to ActBlue, a Democratic Party fundraising platform.
Hawkins worked for the Florida Department of Revenue for over 20 years, where he is currently a Mailroom and Warehouse Supervisor. He ran for a seat on the Leon County commission in 2016, but lost after receiving 36% of the vote in a two-man race.
Hawkins’ campaign priorities include reducing crime and unnecessary spending and improving the economy. To reduce crime, he proposes that the county encourage more gatherings with children in grades 6-10 where they meet law enforcement officers, lawyers and ex-convicts.
“Let them know that (crime) is not the route you want to take,” he said.
Hawkins also wants to convince local judges and state prosecutors to stop giving defendants “soft deals just so they can close the case.” Hawkins also said he wanted a return to Florida’s three-time violent offender law, which provides for life sentences after a person’s third violent crime. However, this law is still on the books.
“The only way to get businesses and everyone to come here is to reduce the crime rate first. Because who would want to bring a big business here, if you’ve got, you know, crime all over the place? So we have to bring down the crime rate and make criminals pay for what they do, ”said Hawkins.
On Blueprint, Hawkins said he would not have supported the funding because the renovations should have been done over time.
“I went there two or three times a day, every day. And the stadium was still under construction on something new. So I can’t understand why none of this was taken care of during all these other renovations, ”he said. “It puzzles me as to why they would give them the full $ 20 million upfront for things that technically should have been dealt with over the years.”