County Commissioner Sues His Own

By: Adam Kramer
By: Adam Kramer

A Gulf County commissioner says he's suing the institution he represents.

Carmen McLemore is planning to file a lawsuit against the county over a decision on elections, which he says is unfair and is part of an attempt to push him out office.

Since 1986, Gulf County has been under a federal court order to elect its county commissioners through single-member district voting.

Last year the court lifted the order, allowing Gulf County voters to elect candidates in all the districts, and in a 3 to 2 vote on Tuesday night the commission voted to go county wide voting on all but one of the commission seats.

"It's a stab at it. Stab at what? Getting me out of office," said Carmen McLemore.

Commissioner Carmen McLemore says it isn't fair and isn't legal.

"If there is any avenue I can take to take legal action I will be going forward with that more," said Carmen McLemore.

McLemore say it’s illegal because the one seat which doesn't have to run county-wide.

Commission Chairman Nathan Peters voted for the partial county-wide voting. He says Peters is protecting himself and trying to run north county commissioners out of office.

"The problem has been brought out and the people on the north end have been educated on what county wide voting would do to them," said Carmen McLemore.

Chairman Peters, who's African-American, says the arrangement will protect minority voters who make up 40 percent of his district.

McLemore says its a front to shift power from north Gulf County south.

"I'm not scared to run county-wide, but let’s all five run," said Carmen McLemore.

McLemore is holding a special board meeting at the courthouse in Wewahitcka to discuss the new voting situation with north county voters.

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