A fifth candidate has jumped into the race for Tallahassee Mayor. Carrie Litherland is the only woman vying for the office, and at 25 is also the youngest candidate.
Taking cues from her heroes in politics like Florida Sen. Lauren Book, Litherland launched her campaign this past week. The mother of an eight-month-old is a legislative consultant to a local law firm, who believes growing businesses does not have to come at the expense of the City’s iconic trees and green landscape.
"I love the trees here. I love the character of Tallahassee, and I want to maintain that," Litherland said. "I think we can grow economically while maintaining our character and our soul of Tallahassee."
Litherland wants to invest in installing underground power lines, particularly in areas of highest need that are most susceptible to outages. She also wants to expand the City’s solar energy efforts, and is a passionate advocate for mental health issues.
The most recent round of campaign finance reporting has revealed monetary front-runners, but the landscape continues to shift. Candidate John Dailey leads the pack, having raised about $80,000 campaigning for Mayor and rolling over another $10,000 from his County Commission campaign. Dailey says money is a necessary vehicle for getting the message out.
"People forget that there are thousands of voters in Leon County and the City of Tallahassee that we have to communicate with," Dailey said. "So, unfortunately we have to raise money in order to be able to communicate, and I am humbled by the amount of financial support that we have been able to generate."
Still, name recognition may not be playing a huge factor early on. Out of 15 people at Lake Ella who were asked by WFSU at random Monday, none of the respondents had a particular candidate for mayor they supported. Most weren’t aware of the candidates in the race presently.