Attorney Cummings announces bid for County Commission seat

By St. Clair Murraine

Outlook staff writer

Attorney Carolyn Cummings has served on several civic organizations, positively touching people’s lives.

Now she is taking her advocacy up a notch by entering into a crowded field that is bidding for the at-large seat on the Leon County Commission. Mary Ann Lindley, who held the seat for two terms, decided not to run in the upcoming elections.

Cummings launched her campaign on the steps of her law office in Frenchtown last Monday, praising Lindley for her work on the commission.

Attorney Carolyn Cummings (center) announced her candidacy for Leon County’s at-large commission seat, promising to focus on issues such as the environment, education and reducing crime.
Photo by St. Clair Murraine

“It’s my desire to carry on her legacy of public service to the citizens of Leon County,” Cummings said. “I’ve always believed in servicing the community and I’ve always been a public servant at heart.”

Cummings is attempting to become the second Black woman on the commission since Anita Davis in 1990.

“Having an African American female on the daises will certainly level the playing field and create a whole different discussion for the community,” said Rev. Joseph Wright, pastor at Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church. “I think she will do an excellent job and change the whole dynamic of the county commission.”

Some of the issues she hope to address if elected include economic development, reducing crime, the environment and providing opportunities for women and minority businesses owners, Cummings said. She also mentioned affordable housing for the elderly and veterans as a priority.

 “As I stand here today, I ask for your prayers, your vote, your financial support in my effort to become your next Leon County commissioner,” she said.

Cummings went on to say that she will work with the city government if that’s what it takes to solve problems. Especially crime.

 “I believe there has to be a certain amount of cooperation between the sheriff and the city police,” she said. “I will do what I can as a county commissioner to bring all those forces together and address the problems that face all the citizens here.”

During her announcement, Cummings touted her vested interest in the county, citing her business, being a property owner and raising a son in the Leon County school system. Her civic involvement includes recently serving on a community selection committee in the city’s search for a new police chief.

Cummings has been the recipient of several awards, including being recognized with the Second Judicial Circuit’s Pro bono Service Award from the Florida Supreme Court.

More than 30 people showed up for Cummings’ announcement. She’s also gotten the endorsement of attorney Daryl Parks and several members of the local clergy.

“Attorney Carolyn Cummings has the experience, competence and compassion to serve as commissioner at-large,” Parks said in a written statement. “She will bring a wealth of community leadership and involvement to the Commission that uniquely qualifies her to serve with distinction and proficiency.”

The field of early candidates who want to replace Lindley includes two who made unsuccessful bids for city government positions in 2018. Lisa Brown was defeated in the race for city commissioner by Jeremy Matlow. Erik David made a short-lived run for mayor, which John Dailey won.

Cummings is still trying to get on the ballot, something she hopes to do by petitions. If she fails to get the required 2,152 signatures by the May 11 deadline, she’ll have to pay just over $3,000 to get on the ballot.

Her campaign manager Chauncey Haynes likes her chances through petitions. He figures pursuing that rout will also help build awareness of her presence in the race.

“We are very excited about the support that she’s received thus far,” Haynes said. “I’ve gotten calls today after she filed. I believe this shakes up the race. You eat that elephant one bite at a time.”

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