TFS Endorsement – Will Crowley for Leon County Commission

Leon County’s second district is known for its rustic settings and unique electoral makeup.

One of the only areas in the county with both strong GOP and Democratic presences, its sudden vacancy has made for an intriguing, yet solemn battleground. It was a place where the late Commissioner Jimbo Jackson long thrived and built a solid political base, succeeding Republicans Manny Joanos and Jane Sauls in District 2. 

Following Jackson’s untimely passing from Covid-19 related symptoms in May, there has been a steady stream of candidates who have filed for his open commission seat. In the GOP corner, things are looking pretty fluid with multiple significant Republicans dividing their base of support.

While in the Democratic corner, there’s only one candidate who has managed to attract the popular support needed to win. That’s first-time candidate Will Crowley.

Crowley has been the District’s representative at the Leon County Democratic Party since 2020, gaining a rapport and familiarity with the voters there that could help power him to victory over an avalanche of special interest money flooding the race

He’s consistently been on the right side of history when it comes to the major issues of the day, and shown impressive policy chops honed over years as a legislative analyst in the Florida House Education Appropriations Committee with advanced degrees in Urban and Regional Planning, and a stalwart participant in local civic affairs.

Together with his campaign of dedicated volunteers, Crowley has begun walking the streets of his district. Deciding against a campaign fueled by big business and developer campaign cash, he is focusing on walking every street that he’s running to represent.

Crowley’s recent ad, “Feed the Soil, Watch Us Grow” is a hopeful message of neighborly outreach and environmental stewardship — concepts wildly popular among the voters of District 2.

Meanwhile, the threat posed by huge influxes of money from right-leaning developer interests and their political proxies in this race cannot be overstated.

District 2 candidate Christian Caban, for instance, is endorsed by Grow Tallahassee, a thinly-veiled front group financed by the area’s largest development interest, known for polluting our local waterways and clear-cutting Tallahassee’s precious patriarch oak trees

Grow Tallahassee’s nefarious influence in local elections probably deserves its own column, but for now suffice it to say they recently paid Gainesville-based GOP political firm Data Targeting, Inc. for electioneering work and appear to be planning a major push in 2022 as developers’ control over local government slips away year by year

At a meeting of the Capital Equality Democratic Caucus this week, Caban had no good answer as to why he registered as and remained a Republican for a decade, throughout the Trump administration until he began looking to run for office in the fall of 2021 and switched parties.

He reportedly even said he feels “persecuted” over questions about his raft of largely out-of-town and bundled maximum campaign contributions — a truly unfortunate choice of words given the context, and a glimpse into his worldview as a longtime Republican.

Crowley naturally responded that ten years ago, Republicans were launching bigoted attacks against President Obama and conducting legislative obstructionism that led to the appointment of anti-LGBTQ judges currently concocting threats to abortion rights and same-sex marriage. 

Elsewhere on the ballot, we see former Republican Commissioner Manny Joanos who was last seen in the newspaper being panned for overseeing embarrassing failures at the school district, hardcore pro-life conservative Lynda Gayle Bell, and employee of odious scoundrel Skip Foster at his new political communications shop Hannah Crow, whose Twitter “likes” include QAnon-level 2020 election conspiracy theories and Covid denialism.

When her true colors began to show publicly, Crow locked her Twitter account — not exactly a good look for a PR pro running for public office. 

But the truth about this unique election is — little that has happened up until now matters much in deciding the final outcome. A majority of voters in the district are very likely untethered to any candidate, if they’re even aware yet of this special election for a vacancy that occurred mere days before qualifying closed. 

In Crowley, we see an ideal candidate: someone who combines an extensive local background and advanced professional experience with a personal emphasis on community consensus-building and pushing for much-needed reform in Leon County’s local government.

The momentous Doak vote is the most significant issue in a decade in Leon local elections, and candidates’ contrast on Doak alone could shape who wins. With this tailwind at his back and voters’ knowledge and interest in local elections at an all-time high, Crowley stands a good chance.  

To avoid a November run-off between a right-wing Republican vs. a developer puppet or lackluster retread, Democrats and NPAs must close ranks behind Crowley’s promising campaign. 

If recent electoral trends in favor of local candidates powered by the growing movement for grassroots change are any indication, they just might.

One comment

  1. Tom Negev · ·

    That rando minor candidate Epstein should drop out for the sake of unity.


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