LEESBURG -- Mary Egler's sure that she will run for one of two contested seats on the Lee County Commission during the July 31 primary elections.
She's just not sure which one.
"I really don't know if I'll be running in District 2 or District 4," Egler said after confirming she would make a third try at elected office. "My residence, which moved from District 1 to District 2 (with reapportionment), is being repaired right now, so I'm staying with my daughter, whose house is in District 4.
"It's something I'll have to take a closer look at and talk with Elections officials about between now and qualifying (which starts May 23). I'll look at all my options."
No matter which district she chooses to run in, it's a pretty sure bet Egler will make it through the primary to the general election. She is running as a Democrat and doesn't expect to draw opposition in the primary. Her Republican opponent in the general election will be the candidate who claims the District 2 seat currently held by Betty Johnson or the District 4 seat currently filled by Commission Vice Chairman Rick Muggridge.
Both Johnson and Muggridge have announced that they plan to seek another term in office.
"No matter which district I run in, I think it's time the voters of Lee County put the best people possible in those positions, and I think I am the best qualified," Egler said. "All of the current commissioners have admitted to me that they sometimes don't read what they're voting on. That's not the kind of representation the people here deserve.
"I think a commissioner should be responsive to the people of the county 24 hours a day. I will be; I don't care if someone calls in the middle of the night. I've had more than one person tell me their commissioner was unresponsive, that they wouldn't even return phone calls."
Egler, who has openly criticized the Lee Commission during citizen forums at bi-weekly meetings, said strengthening infrastructure throughout the county, not just at sites popular with developers, should be a goal of the commission.
"That's how you build a tax base," she said. "This commission is more like a kid stacking up building blocks; until there's a solid foundation, those blocks are just going to fall down.
"There's too much just throwing ideas out and running with them with this group. There should be a lot more investigating."
Egler, who moved to Lee County in 1974, said under the current commission the "cloud with the silver lining sometimes turns out to be lead and is more costly than its worth."
"It is time that Lee Countians take a stand and let their voice be heard for the future generations to come," she said. "It is time that the commission office is held accountable and is available to the public for answers."