Craig Carter wants to get down to business. That’s one of the reasons he’s running in Tuesday’s election for Gainesville City Commission District 3.
Carter, 54, has been a small-business owner since he moved to Gainesville two decades ago, and he’s calling for a better business focus and accountability in local government. He said he’d like to see the commission adjust its priorities.
“We don’t need fancy trolleys, fancy buses, bad contracts,” he said. “What we need are business people.”
That focus would include promoting a climate that’s conducive to small businesses, which he said can provide better training experiences and wages than large chains.
“If we were to buy local as much as we can, it would be self-curing,” he said.
Carter, who founded Craig Carter Golf Carts and Craig Carter Mobility, said his main mission is to lower electric rates and make the city more transparent.
“Gainesville is a wonderful place,” he said. “It’s a beautiful place. It’s so diverse. It has everything you ever want. But we’re spending money poorly.”
He also prioritizes investing in students. As a volunteer with UF campus ministry Reformed University Fellowship, he said he’s probably hosted a couple thousand students for gameday parties and socials at his home during the last decade.
“That’s my passion — young people and students,” he said.
Gainesville Mayor Ed Braddy said Carter takes a reasonable, common-sense approach to resolving issues.
“He’s a problem-solver,” Braddy said. “It’s in his nature. When he hears there’s a problem, he doesn’t sit around trying to find someone to blame.”
[A version of this story ran on page 4 on 3/10/2014]