Edwards ready to challenge for District 2 seat on BCC

Longtime resident hopes to fill vacancy left by Wayne Bolla’s departure

By Wesley LeBlanc wesley@opcfla.com
Posted 9/1/21

CLAY COUNTY – Leroy Edwards is a District 2 resident who’s lived in the county since 2006 and he’s ready to represent the community he loves as a county commissioner.

Edwards lived in Miami …

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Edwards ready to challenge for District 2 seat on BCC

Longtime resident hopes to fill vacancy left by Wayne Bolla’s departure

Posted

CLAY COUNTY – Leroy Edwards is a District 2 resident who’s lived in the county since 2006 and he’s ready to represent the community he loves as a county commissioner.

Edwards lived in Miami with his wife of 33 years before moving to Clay County. Ready to ditch the hustle and bustle of metropolitan life, Edwards chose Clay County as the place to raise his family. He began working for UPS in 2007 and has worked there ever since. He became a UPS supervisor in 2014 – something he still does today.

“While at UPS, I learned how important it is to listen,” Edwards said. “I also learned how to ask questions, pursue goals, as well as challenges, and stay organized.

Additionally, I realize the importance of a positive work environment, and the willingness to step into roles unfamiliar to me. I am confident in taking the next phase to expand my leadership skills and involvement in our community.”

Edwards said he decided to run for public office after he realized the Argyle Forest community in District 2, which is made up of some parts of Middleburg and Oakleaf, is void of a voice. He hears their grievances from talking to neighbors and talking to residents at church, and he said one of the things he heard most often is that people don’t know who is their commissioner.

He wants to change that.

“Many don’t participate in the electoral process in Clay County already,” Edwards said. “I can tell you this: I’m a Democrat and I’d be the first Democrat in office in Clay County as a County Commissioner. For me, it’s not a matter of Democrat or Republican, though. That’s because [the BCC] needs a mixture so that people can hold each other’s feet to the fire.”

Edwards is after current commissioner Wayne Bolla’s District 2 seat. Bolla will be termed out, he said. Edwards is currently up against Republican Bill Engelbrecht for the seat.

Edwards did a petition drive in the Argyle Forest area with the goal of obtaining 429 signatures. He received more than 500.

“Some of the biggest grievances I heard were that Argyle Forest is one of Clay County’s largest communities and it doesn’t have a post office,” Edwards said, touching on how this is especially important to him due to his current job. “They also don’t have a library or good infrastructure. They’re building thousands of more houses in the area...and the area doesn’t know how that’s even going to work. How are people going to get back and forth to work?”

He recognizes the uphill battle he faces being a democrat in a majority-republican county, but he said three of the largest precincts in District 2 have more Democrats than Republicans.

“It’s important to reach across the aisle to me,” Edwards said. “A lot of people look at Democrat and Republican and use it like a wedge when in Clay County, when we’re talking about local politics.

It’s not that much ‘Democrat versus Republican.’ People don’t make decisions like this based on Democrats or Republicans. It’s about keeping Clay County beautiful...and ensuring it’s a place we all want to live.”

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