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Simon and Ausley voters in Tallahassee explain why their candidate should win

Souls To The Polls event 2022
Valerie Crowder
/
WFSU
Organizers set up for Souls to the Polls in Tallahassee on Nov 6, 2022. It was the last day of early voting in Leon County.

One of the most closely-watched races on the ballot in North Florida is the one between Democratic state Senator Loranne Ausley and Republican Corey Simon.

At an early voting site on Sunday, supporters for both campaigns explained why they believe their candidate should win.

Tallahassee voter Warren Cave likes Ausley, but he voted for Simon because he believes he’ll do a better job bringing more dollars for vocational programs to the region. Cave runs a ministry that helps people who’ve been incarcerated find work after they’re released.

“My initiative with my jail initiative is I have people trying to get a trade. Corey’s big on trades. You can go to school for nine months, a year, get a job making a lot of money. You don’t even have no back pay or anything.”

Tallahassee community activist Stanley Sims is backing Ausley. Sims says he was open-minded to Simon until he refused to answer whether or not President Joe Biden was duly elected during a debate between the two candidates.

“That was the foundation. If the foundation’s not strong, you can’t build any walls on a weak foundation.”

Senate District 3 covers more than a dozen counties in North Florida, including Leon, Gadsden and Wakulla. It now leans less Democratic than it did when Ausley was elected to the Senate two years ago. Today’s election will determine whether she keeps her seat.

Valerie Crowder hosts and produces state and local newscasts during All Things Considered. Her reporting on local government and politics has received state and regional award recognition. She has also contributed stories to NPR newscasts.