Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Raemi Eagle-Glenn Thursday to fill the District 1 seat, which she lost an election for to former commissioner Mary Alford in 2020 with 32% of the vote.
Alford resigned May 16 after an investigation found her in violation of residency requirements, and the seat had been vacant for 25 days.
She said she forgot to file a homestead exemption while she lived in District 4 to care for a relative. She purchased a new house in District 1, which includes Micanopy and parts of Gainesville and Archer, Friday; she filed to run for the seat the same day.
Because Alford resigned with more than two years left in her term, Eagle-Glenn will occupy the seat until Nov. 15 — seven days after the next general election.
Eagle-Glenn announced her appointment in a Facebook post and thanked DeSantis and her brother, Dane Eagle, who is the secretary of Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity.
Eagle-Glenn’s appointment will bring a conservative voice to the county commission, Mary Stonecipher, a 77-year-old Northwood Pines resident, said. She voted for Eagle-Glenn in 2020.
“They’ve all been marching in lockstep for too long, and that has hurt our county,” she said.
Even though DeSantis appointed Eagle-Glenn, County Commissioner Ken Cornell said he hopes she becomes educated on local issues, listens to the public and contributes to the county commission in a way that represents District 1.
“It's an honor to be a county commissioner, and I hope she takes it seriously,” he said.
Susan Cary, a 78-year-old District 4 Grove Street resident, supports Alford’s campaign.
“She's a person of high ethical and moral standards,” she said. “When she realized that something was amiss, she did what she should do, which was to resign.”
She said she was not surprised by Eagle-Glenn’s appointment to the seat and hopes she does not run again after her first election loss.
“It’s a totally political move,” Cary said. “People in Alachua County wouldn't vote for her.”
Alford said she felt she had good support; a lot of people appreciated her recognizing the issue with residency and resigning.
“I worked really hard to be a good commissioner,” she said, “and I think people recognize that.”
Thomas Craig, a 66-year-old Newberry resident, voted for Eagle-Glenn in 2020 and said he is excited for a Republican voice to join the commission.
After the residency violation, Craig said if it were up to him, he would never let Alford run again but still expects she will win the fall election.
Eagle-Glenn received her bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Central Florida and a law degree from the University of Florida. She is the Alachua County Republican State Committeewoman, an attorney at Eagle-Glenn Law and a member of the Republican National Lawyers Association. She is also the third Republican to serve on the Alachua county board of county commissioners.
Eagle-Glenn did not respond to comment after six phone calls, two emails and two Facebook messages.
The next county commission meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, though it is unclear if Eagle-Glenn will be present, County Communications Director Mark Sexton said.
Contact Mickenzie Hannon at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @MickenzieHannon.
Mickenzie is the local elections reporter and previously covered city and county commission for The Alligator’s Metro Desk. She's a fourth-year journalism major and is specializing in data journalism. When Mickenzie isn’t writing, she enjoys watching horror movies, reading, playing with her pets and attending concerts.