Sneads town manager Lynda Bell came under fire from the audience at this past Tuesday night’s town council meeting for her recent announcement that she is entering the race for District 7 state representative.
During public comments at the end of the meeting Tuesday, Sneads resident Irving Ranew questioned the council about Bell’s ability to work for the town and run for office at the same time. When asked if she used or planned to use her city-owned vehicle for campaigning, Bell replied that she used it strictly for city business.
Bell, 62, was hired by the Sneads Town Council in August 2018 to replace longtime town manager Connie Butts, who resigned earlier in the year. Now a Tallahassee resident, Bell had previously lived in South Florida and served a single term on the Miami-Dade County Commission and a term as mayor of the City of Homestead. She told the Tallahassee Democrat this past week that she is running as a Republican for the Florida House of Representatives District 7 seat, recently vacated by former State Representative Halsey Beshears of Tallahassee.
Republican Beshears was tapped by new Governor Ron DeSantis to head the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, requiring a special election for District 7, which includes portions of Leon, Taylor and Gulf counties. Bell is a newcomer to the race, for which qualifying ended today, February 14. She will face two other Republicans in the April 9 primary: Big Bend Community-Based Care CEO Mike Watkins and Port St. Joe businessman Jason Shoaf.
One Democrat has said he will run, Ryan Terrell, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. The
District 7 special election will be June 18, 2019.
Bell declined to comment about her House race decision Tuesday, both during and following the council meeting. She was unavailable for comment before press time this past Wednesday morning.
According to the website Balotpedia, Bell ran in the Florida House District 118 race in 2016.