We know it can be difficult to find information on candidates running for local races. Informed voters are key to making wise decisions that will impact our county. Often, candidates don't provide information about themselves, create websites or attend public forums. This year, the national health emergency has made it even more difficult to get to know candidates. We are hosting a 2020 Virtual Candidate Forum on October 14th (Update: Watch on demand). We also want to help make candidate statements and campaign links as accessible as possible.
The Duval Soil and Water Conservation District has 5 voting Supervisor positions who serve at-large to all 918 square miles and ~913,000 people of Duval County with no political affiliation. The seats are numbered, Group 1-5. Every 2 years, a staggered amount of seats are open for re-election. In 2018, Groups 1, 3 and 5 were on the ballot. Supervisors Allen L. Moore (1), Jennifer Casey (3) and James Cook (5) were elected and sworn into office.
In November of 2020, Groups 2 and 4 are on the ballot. The seats are currently held by Hunter Anderson (2) and Ed Wright (4). Hunter and Ed are both not seeking reelection.
CANDIDATES IN GROUP 2 ARE: John R. Barnes, Binod Kumar, John J. Nooney & Matt Reimer
CANDIDATES IN GROUP 4 ARE: Lagarall Bates, Arthur R. Bides, Ashantae Green & Carter Jones
The following information below has been provided by each candidate.
Group 2, John R. Barnes
John R Barnes is the Vice President of Government Relations at Veritec Solutions. In 2016, John was appointed an Affiliate Member to The Duval Soil and Water Conservation District. As an Affiliate member, John has played a critical role in public outreach for the board. John has done this by helping to secure donations, sponsorships, and partnerships with local businesses for Duval Soil and Water Conservation District events.
John is a proud alumnus of The University of North Florida. At UNF, John was elected and subsequently re-elected as Student Body President. John received a bachelor's degree from UNF before getting his master's degree from University of Florida. John has worked with local nonprofits including The Boys and Girls Club of America, First Tee, the USO, and Builders Care.
After four years with this board, John is asking for your vote on November 3rd, so he can continue to:
Group 2, Binod Kumar
I have lived in Duval County for over 35 years. I have a small family. My son was born and raised in Jacksonville; he graduated from the Stanton High School, the Florida State University and finally the University of Chicago Law School.
I am an engineer by training and profession. I have a graduate engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and an MBA for the University of North Florida. I am a licensed Professional Engineer in Florida. I was in private practice for a number of years as a consulting engineer advising government installations, school boards, military bases, naval air stations, air force bases and such on energy conservation issues. I retired a few years ago from JEA as their energy conservation engineer.
If elected, I will work diligently and with my full commitment to address the issues of Soil and Water Conservation District, particularly educating our young school children an appreciation for our natural resources and conservation. I will seek public/private partnership to clean up St. Johns River and reduce/eliminate raw sewer discharge into it. Raw sewer discharge, among others, is a source of algae growth which is a toxin.
Group 2, John J. Nooney
Candidate did not provide a statement.
Group 2, Matt Reimer
VOTE FOR MATT REIMER TO CLEAN UP THE DIRTY WORK. Matt has always had an interest in running for an office and there is no better time than now. The Soil & Water Conservation District plays an important role in the sustainability of all the natural resources Duval County has to offer and that we all enjoy. Matt will put the best interest of all of the people in Duval County first. Too many elected officials are looking out for themselves, certain groups, or only those that share their opinions. That has to change. The time has come for leadership to listen to the people they represent and that is what Matt Reimer promises to do for you. After graduating from the University of North Florida in 1994 with a Bachelor of Technology in Construction Management he spent the next six years living and working in Ohio, Texas, and California, however, no place felt as good as it did to be in Duval County, so when the opportunity arose to return by Jacksonville, Matt came back. Since that time, he has raised two kids here with his wife Kathy enjoying all the opportunities the First Coast has to offer.
Group 4, Lagarall Bates
I am Ms. La'Garall Bates, a resident of the beautiful city of Jacksonville Florida Westside & Riverside Area. Mother of two, A daughter, sister and friend to all. I graduated from great education systems such as Florida State College in Legal Studies and Jacksonville University as a Sociology Major. My roots run deep and I'm very compassionate regarding my city and making our water system excellent. I am interested in what and how the water laws are affecting it's residents.
My pursuit of public office is inspired by those who desire a healthier soil & water community. Being a past city council candidate and grassroots campaign representative over the course of 10 years has given me experience as well as allowed me to understand the needs of the people in our city. I also had the pleasure to be apart of Clean up Jacksonville and other environmental and volunteer opportunities.
Group 4, Arthur R. Bides
My name is Arthur Bides, and for the past 10+ years, my studies and career focused on water and water resources. I have turned my passion into my profession. I hope to use my knowledge, passion, and expertise to protect our natural resources.
I am a Water/Wastewater Engineer, a Professional Engineer in the State of Florida, and a Florida Stormwater Management Inspector. I am also a member of several professional organizations, including the Soil and Water Conservation Society, the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, the Florida Water Environment Association, and the American Water Resources Association. I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering, focusing on Water Resources from the University of Florida. Every day I see the impact policy has on our local surroundings.
As a native Floridian, I enjoy participating in Florida's outdoor water sports, like surfing and scuba-diving. I am a Marine Corps and Florida Army National Guard Veteran. My wife Paula and I are passionate about serving our community and keeping Jacksonville an excellent area for our two young daughters to grow up. Together, we volunteer for local organizations, including the Donna Marathon, St. Vincent's/ Aging True's Thanksgiving Meals on Wheels, MathCounts, and the American Legion.
Group 4, Ashantae Green
GREEN is her last name, and so is her life! As a mother & business owner, Ashantae understands the environmental & economic importance of promoting & protecting land, waterways, agriculture & natural resources for generations to come. Her love for people and the planet came while growing up on the eastside of Jacksonville, FL. There she experienced 1st hand the health effects & challenges of food insecurity, a weak tree canopy & unhealthy soil, water & air. This experience motivated to bring environmental education & solutions to all citizens throughout the first coast.
Today, Ashantae brings passion, preparation, years of cultivated partnerships and community work to the table. Ashantae is a graduate of Florida State college at Jacksonville, and currently set to complete certificates in Sustainability Management from LSU & Sustainable Agricultural & Urban Land Management from UF in October 2020. Ashantae is a current volunteer of the Duval Soil & Water Conservation District, a board member of many related organizations; a subject matter expert for the Jacksonville City Council’s Subcommittee on resiliency; a participant of the Florida Department of Agriculture Ag Innovations Working Group & an Architectural Designer & consultant for conservation & environmentally friendly construction.
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Group 4, Carter Jones
Candidate did not provide a statement or a photo.