By Dawn Krebs
FORT PIERCE - Fort Pierce residents will make their decisions at the Aug. 14 primary election when it comes to City Commission District 1, seat 3.
That's because the three candidates - Alfredia Wilder-Agnew, R. Duke Nelson and Reginald Sessions - are running in a nonpartisan race, so they all run against each other, regardless of political affiliation.
Hometown News asked the candidates the same questions about their campaign. Their answers are below in alphabetical order.
Hometown News does not endorse any candidates for political office, but instead provides information about each candidate for voters to make an educated decision.
Name: R. Duke Nelson
Name: Reginald Sessions
Children: Two daughters, Maria and McKayla
Name: Alfredia Wilder-Agnew
Occupation: Self employed
Spouse and children: Husband, Linton Agnew, son, Magic Wilder and daughter, LaBresia Agnew
Q: How long have you lived in St. Lucie County?
Nelson: 77 years
Sessions: Lifelong resident to provide modern solutions for the issues that confront our city.
Wilder-Agnew: I was born here. I'm a native.
Q: Why did you decide to run?
Nelson: Because the incumbent commissioner is not doing a satisfactory job. He failed to get positive results for the utility bills issue, failed to fire the former city manager and stated it was alright to lie about previous arrests while employed in another state. He is all talk and gets no positive results. He causes decisiveness among our citizens. He is all mouth and no positive results.
Sessions: To make a difference in our community by continuing to work toward economic growth and job opportunities. To continue to make our community safer by supporting crime-fighting policies which have led to lower crime rate numbers during my tenure on the city commission.
Also, to have the opportunity to serve on the commission with a 3-2 makeup. This would be different from the previous commissions, thereby allowing for the possibility of addressing critical issues in our community from a different perspective.
Wilder-Agnew: Because I feel a need to try to save Fort Pierce as a city. Everything around Fort Pierce is prospering, but we seem to be dying out.
Q: What are the top two issues you wish to see addressed?
Nelson: Business development and job creation.
Sessions: Port development and increased economic development for the district. We must be able to assist in bringing business to northwest Fort Pierce. This is the only way to address the critical needs of our community. We need light manufacturing and warehousing businesses, the types of job opportunities that our residents can take advantage of immediately.
We must have a pro-growth approach to making Fort Pierce a better place to live. District 1 residents cannot continue to wait for trickle-down economic policies that rely on winter tourism. We must grow in ways that attract the type of light industrial job opportunities that our citizens can take full advantage of.
Also, we must find a way to pay our police officers the same salary that surrounding communities pay for their officers. The public safety needs of Fort Pierce must be met in order for growth to occur. The first function of government is to provide for the safety and well being of its citizens. Our police officers must have better working conditions, which in turn lead to better community relations. There must be a holistic approach to our community's needs and public safety is priority No. 1.
Wilder-Agnew: More jobs and businesses, and being more of a public servant for the people.
Q: What makes you the most qualified candidate?
Nelson: Experience, training and education. Walking with others to facilitate getting something done is leadership. I have a proven track record and a commitment to community service.
Sessions: My experience and being familiar with the current issues that face our city. My modern approach to problem solving. My legal background, which affords me the ability to understand and analyze the issues that confront our city. My ability to continue current projects and to get behind new modern initiatives that will look to the future for Fort Pierce.
Wilder-Agnew: A fresh face, fresh ideas and a fresh vision for our city. I care. I really love Fort Pierce.