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Longtime activist Johnson joins Gainesville mayors race
0821MAYOR.Rose Johnson
Rose Johnson

Election calendar

Qualifying dates

Gainesville: 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 26-28

Clermont: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Aug. 26-30

Gillsville: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Aug. 26-30

Lula: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Aug. 26-28

Sept. 4: Late date to file write-in candidacy notice

Oct. 7: Last day to register to vote

Oct. 7: First day of early voting

Nov. 1: Last day for early voting

Nov. 1: Last day to mail ballots

Nov. 5: Election Day

Dec. 3: Runoff, if necessary

Gainesville election

City Council positions on ballot

Mayor: Currently held by Danny Dunagan*

Ward 1: Currently held by Danny Dunagan

Ward 4: Currently held by George Wangemann

*Mayor’s post currently rotated among council members

Gainesville native and longtime community activist Rose Johnson announced Tuesday she is running to become the city’s first elected mayor in November.

Johnson is a small-business owner who runs the Center for Community Support, which provides administrative and secretarial services.

She most recently helped lead the Southern Partners Fund, a regional grantmaking group that aids community-based organizations in the rural South.

Active in community affairs since she was 12, “ I attended my first public hearing when I was in the sixth grade,” Johnson said. “Since that time I’ve spent most of my days dedicating my life to serving humanity.”

Voters approved the elected mayor position in a 2009 referendum.

Johnson, who attended E.E. Butler High School during segregation and ended up graduating from an integrated Gainesville High School in 1971, she said she wants to help guide Gainesville’s progress “over the next four years because I love this city, its people and I care about its future.”

Real estate agent Charles Alvarez and Gainesville City Councilman Danny Dunagan also have announced they plan to run for mayor.

The new mayor 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 anywhere in the city.

Qualifying for mayor and council seats is set for Monday-Aug. 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 in the previous year.

Because the city hasn’t had an elected mayor, “we had to fall back on state law, which says the fee can’t be any higher than $35,” City Clerk Denise Jordan said earlier this year.

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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