Statistics released last week by the State Division of Elections show that nearly 114,000 people voted during the first day of early voting and more than 1 million people have voted by mail.
District 10 includes Suwannee, Hamilton, Columbia, Baker, and parts of Alachua County.
Republican candidate Chuck Brannan, Democratic candidate Ronald Williams II, and Independent candidate Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson are the candidates running for the Florida House District 10 seat.
Brannan graduated from the University of Florida in 1987 and spent about 30 years in law enforcement—27 of those years was spent working at the Baker County Sheriff’s Office as a Chief Investigator.
He says his candidacy is a continuation of his public service.
“I think it will probably teach you something else a lot of careers won’t—it’s compassion and compassion for people and I think compassion is probably an important quality of leadership,” Brannan said.
“If you want to keep Florida’s economy going good, you do two things you keep the state fiscally-solvent and you keep our environment clean,” Brannan says.
Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson owns an eco-tourism business.
She wants to use what she has learned to help the environment through the legislature.
“I go to all kinds of meetings trying to protect the community mostly primarily the environment,” Malwitz-Jipson said.
She says she will be a friend to agriculture.
“All the farmers want to do is grow food,” Malwitz-Jipson said. “But we have to find a way to resources, financial resources, so the farmers can do better.
Lake City native Ronald Williams II served in the U.S. military.
“I get back to Lake City and it seems like Northern Florida and everything is the same and I know our community wants to prosper,” Williams II said.
He coined a term called the “EESI” process because his platform is education, employment, social services, and infrastructure.
“Our K through 12 system needs to improve as well as our teacher pay,” William II said. “That top priority to me is education.”
All three candidates say they want to provide more jobs in the district.
“We need to train students for good-paying jobs right here locally and try to keep them here locally,” Brannan said.
“I would like to see more trade-oriented educational opportunities,” Malwitz-Jipson said. “The kids have to figure out a way to work in their communities and I think trade will offer that.”
All three candidates are planning to campaign straight through to Election Day.
General elections will be held November 6th.