SAYING THANK YOU

Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe takes a selfie with city workers in front of Gainesville City Hall, located at 200 E. University Ave., on Thursday. Poe and city commissioners gave flowers to thank workers for helping after Hurricane Irma.

Mayor Lauren Poe announced his re-election campaign two months early Wednesday morning.

The mayoral seat and City Commission District 4 seat, which is held by Commissioner Adrian Hayes-Santos, will be on the ballot on March 19, 2019, according to the city of Gainesville website. Gainesville residents can vote early from March 9 to 16.

Although qualifying for the City Commission elections begins Jan. 28, Poe said he came to a realization after the midterm election results. Hayes-Santos has not yet announced if he will seek re-election.

Poe said he woke up feeling a bit heartbroken, especially after Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum’s loss. He said he couldn’t impact the statewide results, but he could affect change locally. He announced his decision on Facebook.

“I knew I had one thing under control and that was whether or not I’d run for Gainesville mayor again,” Poe said.

Running the city has been a difficult but enjoyable experience, Poe said.

“I think I’ve worked really hard and hopefully earned their trust and respect,” Poe said. “And I’m there to represent every single civilian of Gainesville.”

Hayes-Santos is focusing on volunteering with the Democratic party during the midterm election recount and will announce his decision after the recount is complete, he wrote via text.

“As Gainesville is headed in the right direction, there are still many issues that need to be addressed to make Gainesville a better place to live for everyone,” Hayes-Santos wrote.

Contact Dana Cassidy at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @danacassidy_

Dana Cassidy is an 18-year-old UF journalism freshman and University News Editor at The Independent Florida Alligator. Outside of writing she loves fitness, dance, film analysis, bad reality TV and excessive amounts of coffee.