Voting has been getting some bad press lately. A recent study from the Knight Foundation, a non-profit for journalism and the arts, found that trust in media is down again. In another Gallup poll that tracked trust in major American institutions, distrust in newspapers and TV news was exceeded only by Congress.

This could be bad news for local elections, which typically revolve around dry and tricky topics the public relies on media to explain. Fortunately, there’s a wealth of local coverage online for you to read — if you’ve got the time. If not, no worries: The Fine Print is back with our resource guide of local election coverage. We’ve done the legwork so you can go vote!

Early voting goes to March 16th. Voting locations are listed on the Supervisor of Election’s website. Early voting times are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every other day. Election Day is Tuesday, March 19, and polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can find your polling location here.

Illustrations by Chloe Kuka.

Presenting: Your Esteemed Candidates

Mayoral Election


Jenn Powell

Jenn Powell has lived in Gainesville since 1989. The 40-year-old is a single mother of four who works as a part-time legal assistant and owns a print shop she runs out of her home. Powell got her start in local politics in 2015 with Alachua County Revolution, the grassroots campaign to support Bernie Sanders. She ran for city commission in 2017.

What you should know:

  • Wants to increase affordable housing and implement a renters’ rights ordinance
  • Wants to combat gentrification by requiring banks to invest in low-income neighborhoods
  • Wants a living wage for city workers
  • Wants UF to pay more in taxes to the city by implementing a PILOT program and joining GRU
  • Wants to explore making medical marijuana more affordable
  • Wants to increase city bus routes and frequency
  • Has pledged to only accept contributions from individuals, not from PACs or corporations

More information:

Lauren Poe (incumbent)

Lauren Poe has been the mayor since 2016. He moved to Gainesville in 1982, and graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s in history and a master’s of education in secondary social sciences. He was twice elected to the city commission and is currently a professor of social studies at Santa Fe College.

What you should know:

  • Wants to develop a renters rights ordinance
  • Wants to end Gainesville’s use of prison labor
  • Wants to continue to advocate for a living wage for city workers
  • Wants to work with UF to realize untapped potential
  • Advocates for community-oriented policing
  • Advocated banning single-use plastic and styrofoam
  • Supported the GNV Rise initiative to provide more affordable housing

More information:

  • His website, which has detailed policy positions
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Coverage of his reelection announcement
  • The Sun’s endorsement of him=
  • His op-ed in the Sun
  • Coverage of the mayoral debate hosted by UF College Democrats
  • The Sun fact-checked his campaign website and the other candidates
  • Coverage of that time he paid $1,000 to rappel off the side of a building in Celebration Pointe to support affordable housing
  • His 2019 “state of the city” address, which has background information on his policies
  • His contribution reports

Marlon Bruce

Marlon Bruce is a political science and international studies major at Sante Fe College. The 20-year-old has served as vice president for Young Americans for Liberty in Santa Fe’s student government, and works as a leasing specialist for the Pavilion on 62nd. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Jamaican immigrants and moved to Florida in 2011.

What you should know:

  • Wants to form public-private housing initiatives to create more housing and jobs
  • Wants to create incentives to develop the east side by working with stakeholders to lower the cost of development
  • Wants the city to hire more police officers and revamp GPD’s training programs
  • Wants to implement a GRU “rate freeze” and reorganize the utility’s debt to lower bills

More information:

  • His website
  • Facebook
  • The Alligator’s profile of him
  • WCJB coverage of when he allegedly submitted false information to vote in a district he didn’t live in for a Republican campaign he was working on
  • The Sun’s coverage of a Santa Fe student government investigation that found he wasn’t a student during a portion of his term and suspended him

Jennifer Reid

Jennifer Reid is a native of Gainesville who graduated from Newberry High School. She works as a legal assistant for a commercial real estate attorney, and runs her own business, Klinc Treats and Designs, which specializes in football- and mom-themed T-shirts. Reid is a member of the PTA at Littlewood Elementary School and a Guardian ad Litem volunteer. Her husband is a Gainesville police officer.

What you should know:

  • Wants equitable pay for public safety officers
  • Wants to increase fiscal transparency in city government
  • Wants to bring grocery stores and chain restaurants to the east side

More information:

City Commission District 4 Election

Adrian Hayes-Santos (incumbent)

Adrian Hayes-Santos has been the city commission for district 4 since 2016. He grew up in Gainesville, and graduated from UF with a bachelor’s in finance and a master’s in international business. He has worked with multiple startup companies in Gainesville and is currently the director of finance for Trendy Entertainment, a local gaming developer.

What you should know:

  • Wants the city to decriminalize marijuana
  • Wants to implement a $15 minimum wage for city workers
  • Wants Gainesville to use 100 percent renewable energy by 2045
  • Wants to implement a five-tiered renters rights ordinance
  • Wants to provide city-wide affordable broadband internet
  • Wants to make Gainesville a zero-waste city by 2040

More information:

Robert Mounts

Robert Mounts is from Gainesville. He graduated from the Levin College of Law in 1966 after completing his undergrad at UF. He is a retired military attorney and served in the U.S. Air Force for over 25 years. He has five children with his wife, Eunsook Park. They live in a historical log cabin that was once owned by former Gainesville Mayor Gary Junior.

What you should know:

  • Is primarily concerned with the impacts of increased development on Gainesville’s older neighborhoods
  • Wants to prevent GRU rate increases
  • Wants to prevent the rezoning of older neighborhoods into “high rent districts”
  • Pledges to work to stop “plans to expand amplified noise events” across the city
  • Wants to increase transparency in the city’s decision-making process, as well as fiscal responsibility
  • Supports efforts for a living wage for city employees
  • Opposes the GNV RISE initiative

More information:

  • His website, which summarizes his “three point plan” for the city
  • Coverage of his campaign announcement
  • ‘The Alligator’s profile of him
  • His most recent op-ed in the Sun
  • 2018 op-ed in the Sun on GNV Rise
  • Coverage of his efforts to keep students out of his neighborhood