Sunday June 16th, 2024 11:36PM

Abigail Guzman wins Gainesville City Council Ward 4 special election

By Hamilton Keener Anchor / Reporter

Abigail Guzman won a special election Tuesday evening for the vacant Ward 4 Gainesville City Council seat.

Guzman defeated challenger Devin Pandy with 70.29% of the vote with 100% of precincts reporting. 3,494 Gainesville residents voted in this race. 

That follows the passing of Longtime Gainesville City Councilman George Wangemann in January at 72. 

Guzman spoke with Martha Zoller and Caleb Hutchins for WDUN’s election coverage. 

“We're breaking glass ceilings. I want to be an example for my children and any child, adolescent, or anybody who has a dream, it can happen,” Guzman said. 

Guzman expressed gratitude toward the city of Gainesville. 

“Gainesville is a community that loves supporting small businesses and seeing them thrive. When we were in the process of opening, Consuelo, I had so much help and resources from our city and staff,” Guzman said. “I was so impressed with how far they go for our community, that I felt I needed to be a part of that. And it was about three years ago that I told my husband one day, I don't know when, but I'm going to run for city council. And that day is here.”

Guzman stated what she would like to focus on in her new role. 

“I think first and foremost, to be the very first Latino person ever on city council has been a massive accomplishment,” Guzman said. “I feel like our city and staff have done a wonderful job with Gainesville and growth in a meaningful way. I have always loved and this is one of the reasons we chose Gainesville to raise our children is the small-town charm. And I think it's so important to grow in a meaningful way and maintain that small-town charm of Gainesville that we fell in love with.”

Guzman said she would be a resource for citizens on the council. 

“When I was in the process of opening Consuelo, I had people that would give me their cell phone numbers and say, call me if this doesn't work, we'll find another option,” Guzman said. “I want to do that. And to see that and to be able to do that for my community. I'll be the first to say here's my cell phone number call me. Let's work on it. Let's make it happen.”

Lastly, Guzman spoke on her experience campaigning. 

“I will say that my campaign experience has really been fantastic. It's my very first time. I announced in January that I was running so we've been campaigning for four months now. And I have walked away from this experience with a full heart,” Guzman said. “I have gotten to meet amazing people in our community and nonprofits that I wouldn't have had the privilege of knowing on that level had it not been because of this campaign. So I always felt like regardless of the outcome, like this morning, you know, I thought, regardless, I am walking away, a better person, a better human, a full heart and loving our community so much more. I already loved Gainesville, but after this campaign, it's on another level.”

  • Associated Categories: Election 2024
  • Associated Tags: gainesville, Gainesville City Council, Election, ward 4, results
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