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Monday, January 30, 2023

Gainesville mayoral candidate: Craig Lowe

<p>Mayor Craig Lowe, 55, is seeking re-election on a platform focused on job growth. He points to several ventures like the expansion of Innovation Square as an example of his efforts.</p>

Mayor Craig Lowe, 55, is seeking re-election on a platform focused on job growth. He points to several ventures like the expansion of Innovation Square as an example of his efforts.

Editor’s note: This is the fourth part of a series that profiles candidates running in the 2013 mayoral race.

After an action-packed three years that included bringing hundreds of jobs to Gainesville and diffusing Quran-burning threats, Mayor Craig Lowe says he’s ready to take reins of the city once again.

Lowe, 55, is running for re-election for mayor in Tuesday’s Gainesville city elections on a platform of bringing more jobs to the city and boosting local businesses.

Lowe said he points to the city-facilitated expansion of Innovation Square and Prioria Robotics as his crowning accomplishments during his past term as mayor.

“We’ve seen an unparalleled period of high-quality economic development in our city,” he said.

He also mentioned his involvement in helping Silver Airways relocate its maintenance unit to Gainesville Regional Airport.

“We’ve now seen a doubling of the number of airlines serving Gainesville and a tripling of the number of nonstop destinations since I first became mayor,” he said.

Lowe said economic development tied to job creation is possible only if the city appeals to potential employers — an environment Lowe said he has helped foster.

“We’ve created an environment in Gainesville that very much centers around quality of life … which in turn is very attractive for businesses to locate here and to expand here,” he said.

Lowe said he will also bring seasoned leadership to the office if re-elected.

Because of his participation in the World Conference of Mayors and his crisis management during the Rev. Terry Jones’ threats to burn copies of the Quran at his church in 2010, Lowe said he can chart a steady course of diplomacy.

“When the world spotlight was on Gainesville, I was able to represent Gainesville in a favorable light, asserting what the true character of our community is,” he said. “I’m the one candidate for mayor that has actually represented our city on the world stage.”

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In 2003, Lowe was elected to the City Commission, where he served for seven years until his successful bid for mayor in 2010.

Nick Mildebrath, Lowe’s campaign manager, said Lowe is good at forming and explaining his plans to politicians and the public.

“There’s a lot of nitty gritty details involved in that,” said Mildebrath, 24. “Craig is definitely a great policy mind.”

Contact Kelcee Griffis at kgriffis@alligator.org.

Mayor Craig Lowe, 55, is seeking re-election on a platform focused on job growth. He points to several ventures like the expansion of Innovation Square as an example of his efforts.

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