Shannon McLeish, 45
Small business owner
Q. What do you see as the biggest issue for the office you are seeking?
A. The recession and housing crisis have had a tremendous effect on our county. People have lost half their home values since 2008. Many have lost their homes, their jobs. Our neighborhoods are blighted by empty, deteriorating houses that drag our property values down further still. We must address this issue.
Q. What are your qualifications for the office you are seeking?
A. Though my background has primarily been in higher education and academics, upon deciding to run, I have dedicated myself to learning and listening, meeting with leaders, government officials, citizens and stakeholder groups. My education, ideas, willingness and commitment to all of our well-being make me an ideal candidate.
Q. If you win, what's the first issue you will tackle?
A. My first goal is to create a taskforce to address the housing crisis and blight. I want to make sure Volusia is a great place to live as well as to visit. Everything else stems from that. Also, we have environmental issues. Addressing them can create jobs, foster education and specialization, and save us money. I am proud of my endorsement from the Sierra Club due to my environmental advocacy and vision.
Q. If you lose, will you continue in politics?
A. I've been very involved in the community as an advocate for citizens. My only motive is to serve our county and improve and protect our quality of life. My service to Volusia's citizens will continue.