Sanford, Broadway leaders contemplate re-election bids

Apr. 13, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

While still many months away, several Sanford and Broadway officials are considering filing for re-election in the upcoming municipal election.

Filing for the November election begins at noon on July 5 and will last until noon on July 19, according to Lee County Board of Elections Director Nancy Kimble.

Sanford Mayor Cornelia Olive said she hasn’t decided if she intends to seek a second term, but “was leaning in that direction.” Sanford council members Samuel Gaskins, James Williams and L.I. “Poly” Cohen all said they were considering filing for re-election in their respective races.

Olive, who was uncontested in the previous mayoral race, said she expects others to throw their hats in the ring this year.

“I have heard there are several people who are interested in it, but no one has called me to tell me they intend to run,” Olive said.

Cohen is finishing up his first term in the at-large seat and said he intends to seek another four years to work for all the city residents.

“I don’t care if they are Republican or Democrat or whatever,” he said. “I want to help them all.”

Williams, who has served on the board for more than a decade in his Ward 3 seat, said he’s never paid any attention to political affiliation.

“As far as city council, I am running in a ward,” Williams said. “The majority of people know me, so I don’t think party affiliation is as vital in a small election as it would be on a larger scale.”

Gaskins said he is interested in seeking a second term for the Ward 1 seat and that he’s reviewed spreadsheets concerning the city’s budget for every line item to find ways of “holding the budget tight.” If re-elected, Gaskins said he plans to continue to do so.

Broadway Commissioner Thomas Beal said he wasn’t 100 percent sure he was running again, but was “heading in that direction.” Broadway Commissioners Jim Davis and Garland Woody Beale, who are also up for re-election, could not be reached for comment.

The November election came into the spotlight in recent days as a result of a local bill, sponsored by Rep. Mike Stone, which would make the Sanford and Lee County Board of Education elections partisan.