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‘My door will be open to hear their concerns’: Cynthia Chestnut to fill Gainesville City Commission seat after close race

‘My door will be open to hear their concerns’: Cynthia Chestnut to fill Gainesville City Commission seat after close race
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 12:05 AM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -The Gainesville city runoff election was a close one. Cynthia Chestnut will be the next city commissioner filling the at-large b seat beating Howland with 51 percent of the vote.

On Tuesday, more than 12,200 ballots were cast, which is about a thousand more than the November special election.

Chestnut said whether it was just by one vote or the 244 votes she won by, she is ready to tackle issues brought to her by residents.

There was only a 13.6 percent voter turnout.

66.9 percent of votes were mailed in according to the Supervisors of Elections Office.

Chestnut said she’s grateful for everyone who voted for her.

“A gracious thank you, thank you and my door will be open to hear their concerns,” Chestnut said. “I look forward to meeting with them and hoping to push their agenda.”

Chestnut was a city commissioner more than a decade ago and said times have changed.

Chestnut said she’s dedicated to fixing issues like lowering utility rates, preserving historic neighborhoods and addressing the increase in crime.

“The biggest challenge is going to be addressing light bills, getting the utility rate down for people,” Chestnut said. “People are hurting in the community because of the high utility bill…Saving the community, saving their neighborhoods, and inviting the public to meetings, inviting the public to speak.”

Howland actually raised more money than chestnut, 21,000 to 20,000, but chestnut finished fundraising with a rush, pulling in nearly eight thousand dollars in the last two weeks.

She believes Matt Howland has good ideas and would like to hear his input in the future.

Chestnut said she will begin fulfilling the role on February 17th.

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