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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Although his term as Student Senate president came to an end Tuesday night, Robert Agrusa said he is not done with politics.

Agrusa told the Senate at its Tuesday night meeting that he would be running for the Gainesville City Commission's At-Large District 2 seat, which will be filled after an election in January.

In an interview before the meeting, Agrusa said he had contemplated the decision for several months and officially filed the necessary paperwork Thursday.

Agrusa said his goal as a commissioner would be to act as a liaison between UF students and Gainesville residents.

"I have a vision for the future of the city of Gainesville, and it combines student representation and the greater Gainesville community," he said.

"As a Gainesville resident for the last four and a half years, I'm pretty well-versed with the issues that are occurring in the city," he added.

Agrusa said he would release his specific platform goals later this week but said his campaign would focus on the redevelopment and sustainability of Gainesville.

The 22-year-old political science senior said he thinks he has enough knowledge and experience to fill the position, including two years in UF's Student Senate, though he admitted his age might be a hindrance to his campaign.

He graduates in December and will focus on his campaign in the spring before pursuing a master's degree in political science next fall.

"I know it's a tough battle," Agrusa said. "There's been students that have run in the past and haven't done very well. I'm hoping to change that course."

Agrusa said the average age of a Gainesville resident is 27, so his youth could help him accurately represent his constituency.

Students would be crucial to his campaign, he added.The nearly 50,000 students in Gainesville make up about one-half of the population, and they were vital in helping UF administrator Jeanna Mastrodicasa win a seat on the commission in spring 2006, he said.

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"If students came out and rallied and voted, all their issues they want to see addressed could be addressed," Agrusa said. "We're a pretty big force to be reckoned with."

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