State Rep. Clovis Watson, Jr. Unseats Longtime Incumbent; Set To Become First Black Sheriff In Alachua County History

Democratic state Representative Clovis Watson, Jr., has made history: After ousting longtime Alachua county Sheriff Sadie Darnell by nearly 20% of the total vote in the county’s Democratic primary, Rep. Watson is poised to become the next sheriff of Alachua county–and the area’s first Black sheriff.

Rep. Watson ran on a platform that focused on reforming the north central Florida law enforcement agency, and voters responded: Watson garnered 59% of the votes, trouncing Darnell, who had served as sheriff since 2006.

Darnell conceded the race quickly after it became ckear she had been beaten by a landslide. Darnell is Alachua county’s first female sheriff.

Rep. Watson has is a longtime community servant who worked his way up through the ranks of the police department, all the way up to the city manager’s position. He has served in the Florida legislature since 2012.

Rep. Watson now faces an Independent challenger who, though his name will appear on the ballot, has barely campaigned and is very unlikely to pull off a steep upset in the heavily Democratic county.

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