By: Robin Ford Wallace, Reporter
The American Legion’s Aug. 7 runoff debate between Kerri Bray Carter and David Duvall was no debate: Not only did they not argue points with each other, no questions had been submitted for either by the audience. “They all must think you’re pretty nice people,” said moderator Tom Black.
Black accordingly granted both candidates a few minutes to tell audience members why they should vote for them rather than their opponent.
Duvall spoke first. A 23-year veteran with the Dade County Sheriff’s Department, Duvall has for some time managed the county’s jail operation, and he pointed out that as such he was the only candidate with experience running a department. “I will not walk in unprepared,” he said.
Duvall said if he wins Aug. 21’s primary runoff election he will on Aug. 22 begin on-the-job training in the probate court under Judge Ellison’s longtime chief clerk, Lynn Buffington.
Ms. Carter was quick to counter that, being deputy chief clerk in the probate office, she had already racked up eight and a half years of OTJ under current Judge Jan Ellison. “Neither of us have been judge, but I’ve sat beside her,” she said.
Ms. Carter said that soon after her employment she’d set her sights on eventually becoming probate judge herself and had spent the ensuing years soaking up all the knowledge she could. She said if elected she would change the office to accept credit and debit card payment and to issue hunting licenses, but that otherwise she would strive to continue Judge Ellison’s legacy of smooth management and frugal budgeting.
In the July 31 Republican primary, Ms. Carter netted 1,435 votes to Capt. Duvall’s 1,093. A third candidate, Roxie Thompson, was close enough behind at 1,081 that she called for a recount for her peace of mind. The recount, duly performed, did not change the result.