Longtime Old Town resident Micah Jon Davis, 42, has been planning to run for office for around 20 years. He’s waited to run, and has primarily self-funded his campaign.
“I planned for this. I wanted to do it for a while,” said Davis, after seeing the impact that the position could have on the community.
The Dixie County High School graduate believes that the most prominent issue facing the county is jobs.
Davis, owner of Sunshine Outside Services, has been in business for most of his life.
“I believe jobs has been the biggest issues that we’ve faced for a long time,” Davis said.
If elected, Davis hopes to work on bringing solar technology to Dixie County. He sees the opportunity within the county and believes that it could increase the number of jobs.
He is also concerned about maintaining the Suwannee River and addressing problems with the Withlacoochee River, which has had issues with waste contamination.
“That’s something I would definitely address if I get elected,” Davis said.
The Suwannee River has sentimental value to Davis — he grew up on it. He hopes to focus on the environment if elected, working to preserve natural resources in the area — especially the water.
“It’s a top priority to maintain that in the future,” Davis said.
Additionally, Davis would like to work on legislation with the Department of Transportation to focus on improving infrastructure in the county. He believes that a lot of roads in the county need repaving, and it’s an opportunity to make the county look better.
He would also like to find a way to help start-up businesses in the area.
“I’d like to see more grant money for start-up businesses and ways to help support our local, rural areas and businesses,” Davis said.
Davis hopes to be elected to the seat and wants voters to know that he would work for everyone.
“I’m a sincere person that has a sincere heart for everybody,” Davis said.
Davis is running against Wade E. “Gene” Higginbotham, current District 1 county commissioner.
Higginbotham, 59, who was elected in 2008, teaches at the Cross City Correctional Institution. Similar to Davis, his campaign is also primarily self-funded.
He received a Bachelor of Science in Management through Nova Southeastern University, and a teaching certificate from the University of South Florida.
The lifetime Old Town resident is running for reelection.
“I work real hard at it, and I enjoy doing it. I enjoy helping people,” Higginbotham said.
If reelected, one of his main focuses would be on getting money to renovate the county jail, which needs a lot of improvement, according to Higginbotham. The county has been working on trying to obtain funding.
Another focus would be on the environment, specifically springs.
“We’re constantly working with the legislation on that,” Higginbotham said.
And jobs are an important issue to Higginbotham as well. When Higginbotham was elected in 2008, many jobs had been lost within the county. But since then, the county has been rebuilding with new businesses.
“We’re just building one business at a time,” Higginbotham said.
Higginbotham is in favor of home rule, believing that it is easier to help residents through work done on a smaller scale.
“We know what our people want and what they need,” he said.
Higginbotham encouraged voters to think of who would answer their calls when it comes time to vote.
“I work hard for the people. I answer my telephone. I call people back,” Higginbotham said.
This story is part of our guide, Florida Votes 2016, leading up to the Nov. 8 election. Check your voter registration status here.