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Wednesday July 29th, 2015 7:30AM

Johnson announces candidacy for Gainesville mayor's post

By B.J. Williams News Director
GAINESVILLE - A third candidate has announced intentions to run for mayor of Gainesville.

Rose Johnson, a Gainesville native and long-time community activist, tossed her hat into the ring Tuesday.

"I want to be the mayor of my hometown," said Johnson. "I want to help guide its progress over the next four years because I love this city, its people and I care about its future."

The 59-year-old Johnson has run for office in the past, running in 1990 for Gainesville City Council's Ward 3 post.

A new city charter means that the mayor's position is now an elected post; in the past, council members rotated mayoral duties.

Johnson said she has been active in community affairs since she was 12-years-old, attending a public hearing when she was in the 6th grade.

"I've worked on such a wide range of issues all my life here in Gainesville, and I know I have a lot to contribute to city government," said Johnson.

The candidate said she believes Gainesville is a progressive municipality, and she applauds the strides the city has made in economic, community and housing development. Still, she said there is room for improvement.

"I think that there should be a special focus on youth unemployment," said Johnson.

"In the area of public safety - a special area of interest that has always been a concern of mine - is the need to develop ongoing and consistent programs for improving police-community relations."

Johnson said she also has concerns about a wide range of other issues from emergency preparedness to voting rights.

Qualifying for all Gainesville City elections will be held Wednesday, August 28.

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