by IN Reporter Sean Boone
Relatively unknown in the Pensacola political scene, City Council Dist. 7 candidate Jacqueline Shumaker was able to force a runoff on Nov. 25 with incumbent Ronald Townsend after neither was able to capture a majority of votes necessary to win in the general election.
Being a newbie, what exactly has made her a viable candidate for Dist. 7?
Shumaker says she’s the better choice as a council member because she is a very active participant in her community.
“I’m not retired,” she says (referring to her opponents). “I live in the community and also work in the community at Hallmark Elementary. I know what’s going on in the community because I teach (the community’s) children.”
She says her entire campaign was financed by her and ran for the seat because she understands the problems that need to be tackled and wants her constitutes to have the same resources that other districts have.
“There are people in the community who have assets and resources and I have constitutes that have nothing,” she says. “I want to make more of a parity of the differences. I want them to have the same things.”
Shumaker plans to go after more streetlights and new sidewalks; push for economic development in the city; bring back the original idea for the Community Maritime Park and bring updates to her district on what is going on.
“I haven’t had any response from him (Townsend) in six years,” she says. “I expect to have at least one newsletter out each year.”
Note: Shumaker trailed incumbent Ronald Townsend by 219 votes in the general election.
Townsend 1,279 votes (42.4%) Shumaker 1,060 votes (35.1%) Robbie Andrews 679 (23%)