For Marion County’s District 1 commissioner, two candidates will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot: incumbent David Moore and challenger John H. Townsend IV.
Moore — who has lived in Ocala since 2002 and was raised in Citrus County — said his top three legislative priorities are public safety, job creation and mental health.
“The purpose of the government is to protect the public,” he said. “Public safety would be my No. 1 concern because if we’re not safe, nothing else really matters.”
Moore said he’s also concerned about Marion County’s water.
“We’re trying to take septic [tanks] offline and try to switch them over to advanced waste treatment,” he said. “That’s also why we’re trying to keep cities like Jacksonville or Orlando from taking our water from us — because we need it for our citizens.”
In terms of education, Moore received a bachelor’s degree in business in 1998 from Saint Leo University in St. Leo, Florida, and later went on to get three master’s degrees from Luther Rice University in Georgia. The three are in Christian studies, divinity and leadership.
Moore said he is involved in the community through being the youth pastor at Wyomina Park Baptist Church in Ocala, as well as through volunteering for the Fort King Heritage Association and the Special Olympics, among other organizations.
Besides being the current District 1 commissioner, Moore also owns his own business: HCDM, a real estate redevelopment company.
Moore said people should vote for him because he originally ran with the intent of helping people.
“I’m one that tells the truth, and I’m a person of integrity,” he said. “I’m there to help people, not special interest groups.”
John H. Townsend IV
Townsend, who lives in Silver Spring Shores, said he decided to run because he’s “upset with the way things are going in my district — in the county as a whole, but especially in my district.”
“We’re more or less being ignored, and we’re dying,” he said. “And we’re not being represented properly by our current county commissioner. And that’s not just something that I’m picking on [Moore] about; this is something that’s coming from several different sources throughout the county.
“They just don’t like the job he’s done in the last so many years.”
Townsend said that, if elected, his top three goals would be: restructuring the budget, fixing issues with the county’s EMS and firefighter services, and also fixing the Marion County Sheriff’s Department.
“That’s the top three,” he said. “You can’t build anything else until you get those three fixed.”
Townsend owns Marion Metal Works, a steel fabrication business, and he is also a partner in Day Break Studios, a community-driven production company.
In terms of education, he graduated from high school and then got into the construction business after.
“Somebody should vote for me because I’ve been running an honest … campaign,” Townsend said. “I have the strength and the power to have this position. I’m not asking for a job; I’m asking to make a commitment to them for the next four to eight years.”