Roger Jolley is making another run for the St. Augustine City Commission — this time as Mayor. He made it clear to me in our interview this afternoon for Historic City News that he takes this race very seriously and thinks he can win.
Jolley’s opponents, current Mayor Joe Boles and former Commissioner Bill Lennon, have been making the circuit, speaking at public functions and have had campaign signs up for the past few weeks.
Frankly, today was the first time I saw a Roger Jolley sign but the candidate himself was out on Ponce de Leon Boulevard waving it near the Prosperity Bank polling location, so, I took the opportunity to find out a bit more about the candidate whose past campaigns have been very aggressive — but this time, not so much.
Since city elections with three candidates or more are vying for non-partisan seats, election rules require one candidate to garner 50% of the vote PLUS 1 in order to be declared a winner in the primary. Otherwise, the top two move to the General election for a run off. Jolley tells me that he is not certain – even with Boles popularity – that Boles will garner over 50% of today’s votes.
If that happens and by some chance Lennon should wind up in a run off, Jolley tells me “I think I can beat Lennon”. If the runoff is between Boles and Lennon, Jolley says he’ll continue to try to advocate for the issues that are important to him in front of the new commission; whoever the new mayor may be.
While Roger was in the “prediction” mode, I posed another question. I suggested that if he were to be elected Mayor, which of the new commissions running today and in November would he be most excited to see elected or most looking forward to working with.
Jolley was very polite and made complimentary comments about all the other candidates who were running for commission seats, however, he said “ideally” if he could have his choice, he would most like to work with November candidate Nancy Sikes-Kline, and two candidates in today’s election; Dan Sullivan and Judith Seraphin.
Jolley says he didn’t make a website this time or raise a lot of money to print campaign signs. A recent letter to the editor appeared in The Record that blasted the newspaper as well as the police and members of the current city government administration.
The message he would like voters to know is that he would like to see the Cultural Council and artist community build bridges with the Chamber of Commerce and business community as well as the local residents. “Together, all three interests have to work to promote this town as an exciting, culturally interesting and vibrant community — with music, art and entertainment of all types.” Jolley feels that is the only way to survive tough economic times facing all of us.