Lake City District 14: Two candidates are going head-to-head for city council seat

Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 10:55 PM EDT
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LAKE CITY, Fla. (WCJB) - Befaithful Coker has been volunteering in Lake City for more than a decade.

This is the second time she seeks to fill the District 14 city council seat.

“I’ve worked with agencies, with community organizations,” said Coker. “I’ve worked with children, I’ve worked with business, enough to understand that there are opportunities.”

Coker said she’s spent 25 years in the legal field and 12 years serving her community.

She aims to bring transparency to the city while also implementing small business development programs for young people.

“To detour some youth from going down the criminal path and as well as make Lake City more attractive for potential businesses to bring revenue and jobs to our citizens.”

Coker said has previously volunteered with local schools, and is the director of “It’s about my efforts” an organization that focuses on developing youth leaders.

One of her top priorities is to create safer communities.

“I seem to be very good about being a voice for young people and I think that’s a lot of what’s missing,” stated Coker.

Coker strives to be the voice for women after she said all the current council members are males.

Candidate Ricky Jernigan has similar views on safety but believes his ideas on security are what sets him apart from his opponent.

“I believe in working together for one common goal, and that’s the safety and security of Columbia county and the city of Lake City,” said Jernigan.

Jernigan served in the U.S. Army and was a part of the Florida Department of Corrections and the Highway Patrol for 38 and 1/2 years.

He aims to increase police presence to not just supervise crime, but also build relationships with citizens.

“To go into these areas where there’s violence taking place. We need to have police officers there,” stated Jernigan.

Jernigan said that Lake City is the gateway to Florida and aims to attract attention to the region.

As a lifelong resident of the city, Jernigan also wants to build a growing city for future generations.

“Review the rules and regulations that we have, reduce taxes and rejoice in the American dream,” shared Jernigan.

Both of these candidates were appointed to the District 14 seat after Chris Greene resigned---but no one was ever sworn in.

That will change after next Tuesday.

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