Gainesville attorney and former law enforcement officer launch campaigns for state House District 22 seats

A former Alachua County commissioner and a former law enforcement officer, both Republicans, have filed to run for the Florida House of Representatives District 22 seat.

Raemi Eagle-Glenn was the first candidate to throw her name in the ring with the hope of replacing Chuck Clemons, R-Newberry, who is term-limited.

The 43-year-old Gainesville attorney is a member of the Republican National Lawyers Association and sister to Dane Eagle, who previously served in the governor’s administration as secretary for the Department of Economic Opportunity.

“As a constitutional conservative, I will always stand up for the values ​​we hold dear − protecting free markets from government interference, defending our children in the classroom, empowering parents to have greater control of their child’s future, and defending our state from the failures of the federal government,” she said in a statement. “Working with Gov. DeSantis, we will continue to make Florida the greatest state in the country.”

Gainesville attorney Raemi Eagle-Glenn, candidate for state House District 22.

Gainesville attorney Raemi Eagle-Glenn, candidate for state House District 22.

more:DeSantis appoints Gainesville attorney Raemi Eagle-Glenn to Alachua County commission

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Eagle-Glenn first moved to Gainesville in 2008 to attend the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law. When not working as a solo practitioner, she has been an active vocal leader for the local Republican party, serving as a state committee woman. On social media, she has described herself as “ULTRA MAGA” and spoken out against COVID-19 vaccine and mask mandates.

last year, Eagle-Glenn was appointed to the Alachua County Commission by Gov. Ron DeSantis following the resignation of Mary Alford. An investigation from The Gainesville Sun found Alford did not live in her district at the time of her 2020 win over Eagle-Glenn, as required by law. The two ran against each other again in November, where Alford successfully won back the seat with nearly 60% of the vote.

Even though her time on commission was short, Eagle-Glenn in a phone interview Tuesday said that she learned a lot, including how to work with others with opposing views. Prior to her appointment, the five-member board was all Democrats, which Eagle-Glenn often called out on Facebook.

Raemi Eagle-Glenn raises her right hand as she is sworn in as an Alachua County commissioner during a special meeting at the county's administration building in Gainesville on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

Raemi Eagle-Glenn raises her right hand as she is sworn in as an Alachua County commissioner during a special meeting at the county’s administration building in Gainesville on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

Local political insiders feared the firebrand would cause disruption on the commission, even though that wasn’t the case.

“I learned how to operate on a delegated body and I think I proved to everybody that I acted with decorum,” she said in a phone interview Tuesday. “I learned civility and how to get things done.”

She was among those who protested the city of Gainesville’s elimination of exclusionary zoning. She also supported single-member district elections in Alachua County and voted in favor of raising the salaries for the sheriff’s office employees.

If elected to the House, she vowed to continue to support law enforcement and protect parental choice and free speech.

“I’m taking what the people want in Alachua, Gilchrist and Levy county and taking it up to Tallahassee,” she said.

Robert Woody files Tuesday

A day after Eagle-Glenn filed her candidacy paperwork, conservative Robert Woody also launched his campaign.

Woody, also a Gainesville resident and committeeman for the local Republican Party, is a former law enforcement officer with four decades of experience, which includes working at the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, Gainesville Police Department and state Department of Juvenile Justice.

President Jackson Sasser recognizes Board of Trustees member Robert Woody, at left, during Santa Fe College's Fall 2012 Convocation at the SFC Fine Arts Hall Tuesday, August 21, 2012. (Photo by Doug Finger/ Staff Photographer)

President Jackson Sasser recognizes Board of Trustees member Robert Woody, at left, during Santa Fe College’s Fall 2012 Convocation at the SFC Fine Arts Hall Tuesday, August 21, 2012. (Photo by Doug Finger/ Staff Photographer)

In 2019, DeSantis appointed Woody to the Eighth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC). The next year, however, the governor opted not to re-appoint Woody as a trustee to Florida A&M University’s Board of Trustees. Instead, in 2021, DeSantis appointed him to the Santa Fe College District Board of Trustees, where he served as vice chair.

In a press release announcing his candidacy, Woody said he is committed to keeping “Florida free.”

“I know that our success will depend on keeping our communities safe and thriving, while fighting to ensure that all of our children have access to the best possible education,” he said in a statement. “As a former law enforcement officer and business community leader, I will work tirelessly with Gov. DeSantis to push back against the radical left and deliver for Florida families.”

Woody has also served on the board of directors for Truist Bank, formerly known as Suntrust for roughly 30 years and has previously served as the chair for the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce. He holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the State University of New York and a master’s degree in criminal justice from Rollins College.

Clemons, who had many hopes to file for the state Senate District 9 seat, did not share what his plans for 2024 are. He said he expects the presidential election to turn out voters in record numbers.

“I would expect every open seat due to term limits to the field many qualified candidates over the next 12 months,” he said.

This article originally appeared on The Gainesville Sun: Gainesville lawyer Raemi Eagle-Glenn files for Chuck Clemons House seat

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