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New park creates political tension between District 4 commission candidates
Jeff Stowe 2013
Hall County Board of Commissioners District 4 Commissioner Jeff Stowe

The campaign for the District 4 Hall County Board of Commissioners seat took an interesting turn Wednesday when Democratic challenger Angela Middleton asserted her credentials for developing a park behind the Harrison Square public housing complex on the south side of Gainesville.

“As a 30-year veteran coaching and working in recreational facilities, I believe that I am the best qualified to guide this project in our district,” Middleton said in a statement. “This facility will enhance the quality of life only if properly developed. I will begin my term as commissioner focusing on ensuring that this development is completed.”

Incumbent Republican Jeff Stowe said he was surprised by the broadside.

“Apparently this comes from someone who doesn’t understand government,” he said.

Middleton said the project was not brought back up again until this election season.

“However, I applaud the Board of Commissioners for taking up this matter for approval,” she added.

Stowe said the project was not politically motivated and that he has, and will continue, to work to develop the park, which stands to benefit lower-income and minority neighborhoods.