Daughter of former commissioner Jackson fills aide position in Caban’s office
By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook Staff Writer
Allison Richards didn’t recall exactly when she made her last visit into the Leon County Commission chamber, while her father served on the board.
The daughter of former commissioner Jimbo Jackson was in the chamber again last Wednesday when she was announced as the aide for newly elected Commissioner Christian Caban.
Memories of her dad, who represented District 2, was everywhere in the room, said Richardson, 28.
“It’s kind of a weird feeling,” said Richards, standing near Caban. “It’s kind of a surreal feeling and it brings back a lot of memories.”
While the hiring of an aide doesn’t make headlines every day, Richards’ ties to Jackson make the sentimentality newsworthy. Caban said he decided to make a job offer to Richards as a tribute to her father.
He won the seat in last month’s election and will serve out the remaining two years of Jackson’s term.
Hiring Richardson “was the right thing to do,” said Caban, who is a managing partner of Governor’s Inn. “As a business person I’m fully aware that this isn’t a one-man show and that you’re only as strong as your team.”
Jackson, who served almost six years on the commission, died last May from complications brought on by long COVID.
“Fort Braden is my heart and soul,” Richards said. “We have lived here my whole life. I look forward to continuing to serve district 2 and continue my dad’s work through that.”
Richards, mother of two girl children ages 18 months and 8 months, was a teacher at Gilchrist Elementary School, where she taught students with disabilities.
Richards said her role wasn’t totally defined but “I’m looking forward to being an asset.”
She added: “I look forward to learning, alongside with Christian this role and what’s expected of us.”
Another reason that Caban said he hired Richards is because of her knowledge of his constituents’ needs. He pointed to her involvement with Jackson’s 2016 campaign that gave her a chance to knock on doors and get to know the residents personally.
She also knows the issues that need immediate attention, including Lake Munson, Woodville, Highway 20 and Spring Hill Road.
“We are fully prepared to hit the ground running,” Caban said.
Being Caban’s aide is an opportunity to carry on what she called her father’s passion.
“My family’s heart and soul is the Fort Braden community,” Richards said, “and it’s such an honor to be in the same places and spaces that he was and get to work alongside some of the people he considered family.”
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