Williams-Cox qualifies for ballot; outlines priorities
By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook staff writer
Dianne Williams-Cox wants school children to have the same learning experience that she had when she attended Shanks High School in Gadsden County.
Having fewer people go through life’s challenges in terms of jobs and healthcare – like she did as a young mother – also are high on her list of priorities.
“I know the struggle,” said Williams-Cox, with members of her election committee surrounding her at a press conference last week. “I understand the need, I too have had some of these issues that our constituents are sharing with us. When someone contacts me to say this is going on, I can understand because I’ve experienced it.”
Williams-Cox outlined some of her past plights while announcing that she has qualified for a spot on the ballot for the upcoming August primaries. She is making her second consecutive run for District 8 in the Florida House of Representatives.
Raman Alexander is the only other announced candidate for the seat, which is being vacated by Alan Williams (D-Tallahassee), who is serving his final term of eligibility.
Williams-Cox said she decided to get on the ballot by signed petitions instead of “buying-in” because it gave her an opportunity to meet the people whose votes she is seeking. She said she needed a minimum of 976 signatures, but received 991.
Education is high on her list, Williams-Cox said, because she believes a shortage of funding for public schools is a big part of the low marks that schools in Gadsden County have been receiving. She’d like to reverse that trend back to the days when she was a student in Gadsden County and colleges recruited several bright scholars from the area.
Williams-Cox made a point of stating that she has long been an advocate for a new high school, which is being planned for Tallahassee’s south side. The school would be a good fit as part of the city government’s Southside Strategic Area plan for development, she said.
Asked how she will fix the lack of jobs, she said her plan is to court businesses to come to District 8, which runs east from Gadsden to parts of Leon County. Small businesses also will be on her list of priorities, she said.
“As a small-business owner, I understand that funding is an issue,” she said. “I understand that the infrastructure is an issue, so I’m ready to work with small businesses to identify resources to help them create jobs and hire people.
“People really want to work and they want to work for a wage where they can take care of themselves.”
Williams-Cox said if she’s elected that she’ll work across the aisle to bring effective change for her constituents.
“In my humble opinion, which is a strong opinion, I have the maturity and experience,” she said. “I have sound judgment, skills and knowledge to work with others to resolve problems in our community.”