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Leon County Aug. 26 Primary Will Decide At Least Three Local Races, Mayoral Finalist

sample ballot
Jessica Palombo

This month’s Leon County election may be a primary, but several races on the ballot will be decided without going on to the general election in November. Voters of any political affiliation can choose the winners of four seats on Aug. 26.

In one universal contest, voters will get to determine who represents Florida House District 9: incumbent Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda (D-Tallahassee) or challenger Arnitta Grice-Walker. Although both are Democrats, all registered voters who live in the district can choose the winner because they are the only qualified candidates.

The primary will also determine who wins at-large Tallahassee City Commission Seat 3: incumbent Nancy Miller or challanger Steve Stewart. All Tallahassee residents are eligible to vote in that contest. The City Commission Seat 2 race between Diana Oropallo, Curtis Richardson and Bubba Riddle could also be determined on primary night if one candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote. If not, the top-two vote getters will move on to the general election. 

And those voters who live in Leon County School Board District 1 will choose their representative in that non-partisan race between Alva Striplin and incumbent Forrest Van Camp. 

Leon County Election Supervisor Ion Sancho says voters planning to just wait until the general election might want to reconsider.

“Seats will not be on the ballot because they will already have been determined, and that voter will not have had a chance as to who that representative should be," he says. 

All Tallahassee voters can have a say in the mayoral election as well. Either Andrew Gillum, Larry Hendricks or Zack Richardson will go on to face write-in candidate Evin Matthews in November. 

And registered Democrats and Republicans will choose which gubernatorial candidate they want in the general election. Democrats will choose between former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and former state Sen. Nan Rich. And Republicans will choose from incumbent Gov. Rick Scott, Yinka Adeshina and Elizabeth Cuevas-Neunder.