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Gainesville insurance broker announces City Council run

Couvillon hopes to fill seat Dunagan will leave

POSTED: July 17, 2013 12:56 a.m.

Gainesville resident Sam Couvillon intends to run for the Gainesville City Council, he announced Tuesday.

Couvillon, an insurance broker with BB&T Insurance Services, intends to represent Ward 1 in the seat to be vacated by Gainesville Mayor Danny Dunagan. Dunagan was mayor and councilman for that district until this year; now mayor is a separate position on the City Council, for which Dunagan is running.

This is the first year Gainesville residents will elect a mayor. The new plan keeps the council’s current election structure intact, calling for the citywide election of five council members from each of the city’s wards and a continued two-year rotation of mayor pro tempore. But it adds a sixth seat to the council: a mayor elected from any of the five wards.

Couvillon currently faces opposition for the seat from former Hall County Commissioner Ashley Bell, who announced his campaign last week. Bell became Hall County’s youngest commissioner in 2009 when he won the District 4 seat at age 27. He had lost to Dunagan for the City Council seat in 2006.

Couvillon said in a news release that his desire to serve will be his biggest value to the council. He will also lean on his business background.

Mayor, Ward 1 and Ward 4 seats are up for election this year.

Couvillion holds various positions in the community and is active with Gainesville First United Methodist Church. He is married with two daughters in Gainesville City Schools.

Qualifying for mayor and council seats is set for Aug. 26-28. The fee is $35 for mayor and $621 for council member.

State election law dictates the fee be 3 percent of the salary paid the previous year, and no salary was yet set for mayor.

The last day for residents to register to vote is Oct. 7, which is also the first day of early voting. The election is Nov. 5.


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