Pensacola City Councilman Larry B. Johnson has decided not to run for the District 2 seat left vacant by the late Rep. Clay Ford. The councilman would not have been on the primary ballot in May—Johnson is a Democrat—but was considering entering the pack for the special general election in June.
Here is statement released by Johnson this afternoon:
There is nothing more rewarding than knowing that a portion of your life is spent serving others. I entered politics knowing that my responsibilities were to my constituents. In all the decisions I have made in my public life, I have always tried to do what was best for all of the people of Pensacola. As such, I feel it is my duty to continue serving the term of office to which you elected me.
In passing this opportunity on to the candidates who have declared to run, I do so with the profound sense of the weight of responsibility that will fall on their shoulders. We must offer the patience, the cooperation and the understanding that our new House member will need as a new freshman in the Florida legislature.
The voters in this legislative district deserve a strong progressive voice in the Florida legislature, and they also deserve someone who will address local community concerns in the district.
It is my hope that our new legislator will be understanding of the needs of our minority, under privileged, under served, and under employed citizens while balancing these needs with the needs of every other member of our community. It is my hope that our new legislator will represent all of the people in this district from the shores of Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key to the public housing of Pensacola Village and from the waterfront homes of Gulf Breeze to the blocks of Belmont-DeVilliers.
In my role as City Councilman I will continue to fight to protect our environment and preserve the resources that we enjoy. I will continue to push for viable economic development projects as these opportunities for progress provide security for the future of our children. I will focus on developing our community to improve our quality of life. Moving forward I will fight discrimination against any law-abiding citizen no matter their race, religion, socioeconomic status, gender, or sexual orientation. I will work to preserve the safety of all of our people. And, I will labor to stop harassment, abuse and domestic violence.
I am a believer that timing is everything and this time is just not right for me to run. I will remain engaged in the governance of our community and I look forward to working with our new District 2 House member. May God bless him or her with wisdom and compassion for all people.