BROOKSVILLE — Former Hernando County Commissioner Diane Rowden joined the District 3 commission race Thursday, hoping to win back the seat she lost four years ago.
Rowden, a Democrat who served two terms on the commission, was defeated in 2008 by Republican John Druzbick. Two years ago, she failed in her attempt to unseat state Rep. Rob Schenck, R-Spring Hill.
"Is Hernando County better in 2012 than it was in 2008?" Rowden wrote in a news release. "I think most people living here would agree with me when I say, 'No.' Over the last four years, the County Commission has really lost its way.''
Instead, she said, conditions in the county have deteriorated during the last four years.
"The people of Hernando County are suffering,'' she said. "It's like the commissioners don't care."
She said the commission wasn't helping existing businesses, improving the county's job market or working to reverse falling property values.
"This situation is not going to correct itself. Our county needs someone with a proven track record who will get things done,'' she said. "The people of Hernando need someone who really cares."
In a telephone interview after she filed her paperwork with the supervisor of elections, Rowden said, "I'm in it. ... But you know, I really never got out of it. In four years, I've never stopping staying involved and helping people.''
Also seeking the District 3 seat are Druzbick; his fellow Republican Jason Sager; Timothy Alexander and Greg Sheldon, candidates with no party affiliation; and Tanya Marsh, a write-in candidate with no party affiliation.
Qualifying for offices on the August primary and November general election ballots ends at noon today.
A native of St. Petersburg, Rowden came to Hernando County in 1985 and served on the School Board in the early 1990s. Rowden, 62, is a retired Delta Air Lines flight attendant.
In recent months, she has been working for Republic Services, which took over trash collection in Hernando County in January, assisting with customer service and making presentations about automated trash collection.
Barbara Behrendt can be reached at email@example.com or (352) 848-1434.