Independent candidate enters county commission race

Jose “Manny” Alonso is running for the District 5 seat

Jose “Manny” Alonso is running for the District 5 seat for the Marion County Board of County Commissioners [Courtesy of Jose “Manny” Alonso].

Home » Politics
Posted August 3, 2023 | By Caroline Brauchler

When Jose “Manny” Alonso came to the United States from Cuba at age 14, his hope was to live “the American dream.”

Alonso now seeks to expand on that dream by running as an Independent for a seat on the Marion County Board of County Commissioners. He entered the race for the 2024 election on April 26.

He is running for the District 5 seat now held by Michelle Stone, a Republican who has served on the county commission since her first election in 2016. Stone, who drew no opposition in 2020, has not yet filed to run in the 2024 election. Republican Nicole Meade has also announced her candidacy for the seat.

Alonso declined to speak to the “Gazette” about his candidacy.

According to his campaign website, Alonso wants to “leave politics at the door and get to work.”

“Manny’s platform for county commissioner focuses on bringing people together to find practical solutions to the complex challenges facing Marion County,” according to his website.

Alonso works as a digital marketing strategist at Ocala Sales and Marketing, which helps businesses generate revenue and increase their online presence, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Alonso also serves the community as a member of the Housing Finance Authority Board.

“He believes in building strong partnerships with residents, businesses and community organizations to address the most pressing issues, such as improving infrastructure, enhancing public safety and increasing access to healthcare,” according to his website.

As of Aug. 2, Alonso has collected $105 in campaign contributions and has spent about $40 in expenditures.

One seat on the county commission is currently vacant after former commissioner Jeff Gold’s resignation in early June. Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to name a person to fill that seat until the election next year.

The general election takes place on Nov. 5, 2024. The deadline for voter registration is Oct. 7, 2024, according to the Marion County Supervisor of Elections website.

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