Once a booming mining town about 15 miles west of Gainesville, Newberry these days is generally on the quieter side.
But on this city election day, downtown Newberry is buzzing. There’s only one race this year — commission seat four — because the other seats up for election were uncontested.
“At 10:30 we had about 150 voters, and that’s good for Newberry. We were hoping for about eight or 900,” said Joy Glanzer, one of the candidates.
Glanzer and her opponent, incumbent Tim Marden, agree on some things; but like all politicians, they also have their differences.
“My opponent is the face of Springs County and it kind of felt like Newberry was being identified with that, so that got me started,” Glanzer said.
Springs County references a petition and movement by some Alachua County residents to secede from the county and form their own government.
“I’ve tried to keep them separately. I recognize that people want to conjoin the two, but I really kind of have… actually kind of intentionally have kept that away from the dais,” Marden said.
Marden urged voters to look at his track record during his eight years in office when making their final decisions. Meanwhile, Glanzer referenced her slogan, “Focus Forward,” saying while there’s work to be done, Newberry has a future to look forward to.
Both candidates said this race was heated, but things look like they may cool down at this year’s spring festival. Newberry Mayor Jordan Marlowe said he’d take a dip in the dunk tank if 1,300 voters came out to vote; the candidates both said they would also take the plunge if they win.