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Monday, October 18, 2021
<p>Lauren Poe and Nathan Skop, Gainesville City Commission at-large 1 candidates, answer questions posed by the African American Accountability Alliance of Alachua County at the Alachua County Health Department on Monday night.</p>

Lauren Poe and Nathan Skop, Gainesville City Commission at-large 1 candidates, answer questions posed by the African American Accountability Alliance of Alachua County at the Alachua County Health Department on Monday night.

The African American Accountability Alliance endorsed Lauren Poe in the Gainesville City Commission runoff race after a forum Monday.

Organization members said they felt Poe was the best candidate to bring jobs to Gainesville and fulfill the promise of Plan East Gainesville.

Gainesville residents listened to Lauren Poe and Nathan Skop, the runoff candidates for the at-large 1 seat, vie for the alliance's support at the forum.

"East Gainesville has potential," Poe said.

The number of people who live in the area and the transportation services make the east side of Gainesville valuable.

Poe said there is too much red tape in the way of developing Gainesville further.

"It was tough to be a public servant and a teacher during [an economic recession]," Poe said. "It was tough for everyone."

Skop said he doesn't agree with Poe's ideas about how to operate city finances.

"We have all been the victim of Poe-enomics," Skop said, referencing his opponent's term on the City Commission.

Julian Kinsey, 20-year-old Santa Fe elementary education sophomore, said the atmosphere of the forum was open and encouraged active government participation.

"I really like the forum because you get to dig into what the candidates are saying," said Kinsey, a former student of Poe's.

Kinsey said the organization is a voice for east Gainesville.

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With the organization's support, Poe will receive a check and campaign help.

"The endorsement is really going to affect how voters in east Gainesville are going to make their decision," he said.

Lauren Poe and Nathan Skop, Gainesville City Commission at-large 1 candidates, answer questions posed by the African American Accountability Alliance of Alachua County at the Alachua County Health Department on Monday night.

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