Bringing business to West Ocala ‘is key’ to Reginald Landers

The lifelong educator and civic leader is vying for the Ocala City Council District 2 seat.

Home » Politics
Posted April 20, 2023 | By Julie Garisto

Reginald Landers [Supplied]

Reginald Landers doesn’t consider himself a politician. The 53-year-old Ocala native has been a physical education teacher and coach for nearly three decades, the past six years at College Park Elementary School. He also is active in his church and in the West Ocala community.

Landers made his first bid for Ocala City Council District 2 in a special election in March 2020. He is on the ballot again for the same seat in a rematch with incumbent Ire Bethea. The non-partisan city election is scheduled for Sept. 19. (Voter registration deadline is Aug. 21; mail-in ballot requests are due by Sept. 9, by 5 p.m.) 

A Forest High School graduate, Landers has bachelor’s degrees in psychology and political science from Florida A&M University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from National Louis University.

He is engaged to Sandra Weaver, who spends downtime with him enjoying live music and relaxing to smooth jazz. 

Landers is also big into golf. When asked if teaches golf, he self-deprecatingly jokes that the school would be better off calling in a pro to teach his students to score a hole-in-one.

Business development has been a central focus of Landers’ platform. He’s been active in civic organizations such as the West Ocala CRA, the Ocala/Marion Metro Chamber & Economic Partnership and the Greater Ocala Community Development Corporation to attract commerce to West Ocala. 

“We have to be mindful of our comprehensive plan so that we are strategic in how we develop our community going forward,’’ he said. “We have to keep that balance.”

Landers’ other affiliations include an executive committee membership with the Marion County Republican Party, and he’s a vice chairperson on the board of the Ocala Housing Authority.

“And I’m on the Executive Board of the Marion County Branch of the NAACP,” Landers added, “as well as the deacon at the New Zion Missionary Baptist Church. I need to remember that if I’m gonna be able to go to church on Sunday!”

One project he’s especially excited about?

“We are working on putting a brand new state-of-the-art economic hub in West Ocala,” he said. 

The office project is planned for the Harris property on State Road 40, where the Marion County NAACP and other community groups will create an interpretive trail honoring the pioneer family.

“We’re creating the Heritage Trail in recognition of those whose shoulders we stand upon,” Landers said.

Community development, Landers reaffirmed, “is key and essential to the health of not only District 2 but the overall health and well-being of the city of Ocala.”

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