DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The race for the face of Volusia County government has gotten ramped up with the driving force behind keeping cars on the beach seeking the chairmanship of the County Council in the 2016 elections.
Greg Gimbert, leader of the political action committee, Let Volusia Vote, joins an already-crowded field for the lead post on the seven-member elected body that sits on the dais of the Frank T. Bruno Jr. County Council chambers in DeLand.
There's the incumbent, Jason Davis of Pierson, who was elected in 2012; Ed Kelley, longtime mayor of Ormond Beach; and Tom Laputka, mayor of Orange City.
Gimbert is the second active member of the LVV pro-beach driving forces to seek elective office behind David Lee Davis, a political consultant and substitute teacher, who is running for Volusia County supervisor of elections.
Gimbert's candidacy to become the new face of Volusia County government wasn't a matter of if, but when in this election cycle for the chairman of the Let Volusia Vote grassroots organization, which amassed 22,000 signatures seeking a voter referendum on the ballot that would give citizens a direct say in changes in beach driving.
This is not Gimbert's first run for elective office: He was unopposed in the 2012 elections for a seat on the Volusia County Water and Soil Conservation Commission. Though it is by far, a much biggest race Gimbert has entered.
Greg Gimbert, left, is shown with fellow pro-beach driving advocates David Lee Davis and Paul Zimmerman in Daytona Beach.
Gimbert, 47, a Daytona Beach resident since childhood when his parents moved here from Virginia, and married with a 9-year-old son, resigned from the water and soil post earlier this Spring and said of the far greater campaign race, "I'm in it to win it."
Gimbert said he ran because he couldn't get anyone elso to do it.
“My intention was to find far better people to run,” Gimbert insisted. “But that proved more difficult than I could have imagined. The people I reached out to all said pretty much the same thing: 'You're crazy to get involved in politics in Volusia County. I ran because somebody had to stand up for the rights of all of us for the beach and everything else. Nobody else was going to do that so I did.”
There are two major hurdles Gimbert will have to overcome if he expects to have a chance at winning: Name recognition and money, though the former is less an issue since he has worked over the mainstream media and embraced social media for the better part of two years.
Editor's Note: This breaking news item is being updated.