With more than a year until the 2014 election, Rep. Alan Williams (D-Tallahassee) says he’s floating the idea of leaving the statehouse and returning to City Hall, where he was once Mayor John Marks’s chief of staff. Even though Williams is wavering, two Democrats have filed to run for his House seat.
Williams has at least one year left as House Democratic Whip and chair of the Legislative Black Caucus.
“As state representative for this area, that’s going to be my main focus right now. As things move along, we’ll continue to look at the opportunity that is there as it relates to the city commission,” he says.
A seat on the commission is opening because Commissioner Andrew Gillum is running for Tallahassee mayor. Williams says several people have approached him about running for Gillum’s seat. But he says making a decision is secondary to concentrating on his remaining time in the legislature. His priorities, he says, are trying to get state employees pay raises and protecting their pensions.
Ramon Alexander and Brad Johnson, the two hopefuls who’ve filed to run for Williams’ seat, are also veterans of the Tallahassee mayor’s office. Alexander, a former mayoral aide, says his nonprofit work and experience as Florida A&M University student body president have prepared him for state office.
“I seek no fame, and I seek no glory. I only seek the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people in need. That’s my commitment, and that’s why I filed to run and represent the people of Gadsden County and Leon County,” he says.
But Alexander says he’ll drop out of the race if Williams decides to try for another term.
The other declared candidate, current mayoral aide Brad Johnson, did not respond to a request for comment.