Tallahassee City Commissioner Andrew Gillum is declaring victory, after winning his third term in the city Commission’s Seat 2 Race. Despite defeating his opponents, his re-election bid was not a sure thing because this year, three people tried to challenge him for his seat on the commission.
Gillum says receiving more than 70-percent of the vote truly means a lot to him because he felt with all the contenders vying for his City Commission seat, he had to run an aggressive campaign. That’s why he says he’s not taking his win for granted.
“I am completely humbled and grateful to the citizens of this community, who have decided to give me another shot at leadership. And, I said from the very beginning, when I ran for office back in 2003, that all I ever asked for was a chance, and if given a chance, I would do right by the people of the community," said Gillum. "And, today’s [Tuesday's] elections officials show clearly that the citizens of Tallahassee feel that I am doing right by them.”
But, Nicholas Halley, a local sales consultant, who ran against Gillum, says he doesn’t feel Gillum is doing right for the city.
“You can read about what he’s done and what he’s talked about on his web site throughout the years. The last thing he really talked about, the good that’s he’s done for the city, is when he worked to help save the Palmer-Monroe House," said Halley. "And, although that’s a great thing, and I’m glad he did it, but a city commissioner who says the last major thing he wants to talk about on his web site to tell people is in 2008, that concerns me that there’s four years until he’s done something else.”
Halley, who’s grown up in Tallahassee for a good part of his life, received the 2nd most votes at close to 12-percent. And, while he lost to the incumbent, he says his run against Gillum was really to send a message:
“When you let a candidate run unopposed, you let them know that the constituents feel like he’s doing such a good a job that no one wants to run against him. And, I just didn’t feel that was the case," remarked Halley. "I just feel like he wasn’t doing as good a job for the city as he could have been and maybe this could be a catalyst for him to do better as the years go by.”
Meanwhile, Gillum says he’s just happy to get back to work.
“We still face amazing challenges and opportunities just over the horizon, and I’m thrilled," said Gillum. "I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to get my hands around trying to work through some of those challenges that we want it to be.”
Gillum’s other opponents included David “Bubba” Riddle, who retired from the Federal Bureau of Prisons and an outspoken opponent of the city commission’s policies. He received the third most votes at about 10-percent.
The person who received the least is Jacob Eaton who received 6-percent of the vote. Lately, he’s been calling for the resignation of Tallahassee Mayor John Marks. Eaton’s also been involved in an altercation at a local Democratic Executive Committee Meeting that resulted in a felony charge, which was later dropped.