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Gainesville City Commissioner announces bid for second term; potential challenger files a lawsuit in court

On Wednesday, Gainesville City Commissioner Gail Johnson officially announced her quest for a...
On Wednesday, Gainesville City Commissioner Gail Johnson officially announced her quest for a second term. Johnson's path to re-election may be a bit bumpier than expected, as one possible challenger for the seat is taking his fight to the Eighth Circuit Court.(WCJB)
Published: Feb. 3, 2021 at 11:38 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Gainesville City Commissioner Gail Johnson announced her bid for re-election on Wednesday. Tayari Appiah, a prospective candidate for the seat, announced he filed a lawsuit in the Eighth Circuit Court on Wednesday, which he hopes will allow him to qualify and run for the At-Large seat.

Commissioner Johnson is hoping to secure a second term in office and vows to be a representative for the city that everyone deserves.

“Deciding to run again was not an easy decision. The issues that we face as a nation, as a city, the endless challenges that have no easy solutions they are heartbreaking. Honestly, some decisions that we have made lately as a commission is heartbreaking.”

Johnson, some of the best work on the commission is made possible when they partner with the community.

“I’m not interested in quick fixes; I’m not interested in bandages. What I’m interested in is getting to the root, getting to the root of our problems, and systemic change. That kind of work it takes longer, and it’s harder. I’m running again, and I’m running again because I’m truly hopeful with the new leadership in this county, I’m hopeful that change is possible.”

RELATED STORY: Gainesville man denied entry to City Hall on last day to qualify for elections

Gainesville’s Tayari Appiah, who hoped to challenge Johnson, explains he tried to enter city hall on the last day of qualifying but was told to return later. When he did, he said he was told he was too late. Now he has filed a lawsuit with hopes of fighting for residents in the city.

“This lawsuit and filing this lawsuit is kind of symbolic to fighting for our community. No matter what political affiliation you are, sex, race, gender, it doesn’t matter. This is egregious. It should be egregious to every citizen in Gainesville, as well as all Americans, that we do not have access to our city hall. That this was done to me. When we know the facts, the facts are that I was there again, and I was blockaded from going in to qualify. It’s repugnant as values we should all hold dear as Americans.”

He has his platform ready to go to show the community what he will fight for if elected.

“Bettering the lives of everyone in terms of lower taxes. Trying to lower our GRU bill, which many of the citizens I have talked to talked about that.”

RELATED STORY: Gainesville man denied entry to City Hall on last day to qualify for elections

The other candidate that qualified for this race, Gabriel Hillel, wants to bring awareness to what he calls a lack of debate in the city and is not actually looking for votes.

“I’m running a campaign that will try and do anything to get a little bit of democracy into Gainesville.”

Appiah said even if he does not qualify, he wants to bring awareness to the situation that happened to him. He said he is ready to fight to the end.

To find out more about Commissioner Gail Johnson’s campaign, click here.

To find out more about Tayari Appiah, click here.

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