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Watson Jr., Solomon make history in Alachua County at swearing-in ceremony

Published: Jan. 5, 2021 at 9:35 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Clovis Watson Jr was sworn in as Alachua County’s first Black Sheriff in the county’s history Tuesday at the Alachua County Criminal Courts.

Watson beat former Sheriff Sadie Darnell in the August Primary Election. One of his first changes-- naming Joel DeCoursey of High Springs as his Undersheriff.

“I’m going to bring, put my team together,” added Watson. “I’m going to start looking at the policies that are in place. I’m going to look at good policies and expand them and some policies I will change. Change is inevitable. The people voted me in office for change so certainly, change is coming.”

Watson was formerly the District 20 State Representative, city manager of Alachua and a police officer before accepting the new job.

“I’m so very honored, I’m humble,” mentioned Watson.

“This historic moment to be the sheriff of the people of Alachua County. The sheriff that will bring the people together who will deal with all the difficulties that we are experiencing. To bring us together and get rid of the hate, the division.”

Ayesha Solomon was also sworn-in and is the first black woman in the state to do so.

“I don’t take it lightly- I really don’t. I have some big shoes to fill,” added Solomon. She replaces Ed Crapo who was property appraiser for nearly 40 years and defeated four other candidates in August.

“While working for the property appraiser’s office, I’ve been there probably almost two decades and we have a team that is outstanding. They’re excited about the changes. They’re excited about what’s coming down the pipeline. I just know I got a good support system. I’m not nervous, I’m just excited.”

Brian Kramer was also sworn-in as the new State Attorney for the 8th Judicial Circuit replacing Bill Cervone.

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