Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Incumbent for Brooksville City Council taking challenge seriously

BROOKSVILLE — Better than most incumbents, Brooksville Mayor David Pugh understands the danger of underestimating your opponents.

As a political newcomer in 2004, Pugh toppled a much more experienced politician, former two-term council member Pat Brayton, with 64 percent of the vote in the race for City Council Seat 2. The improbable victory taught Pugh a lesson that has guided him through his second run for the council.

"Nothing is ever guaranteed," Pugh said.

Pugh will try to fend off bids from Cecil D. Davis IV, who unsuccessfully ran against Lara Bradburn for the Group 4 seat in 2006, and Brooksville Housing Authority board member Yvette Taylor.

Pugh, 36, is the only person in the race to have been elected to public office. But he said he's taking both challengers seriously, especially in a town where a handful of votes could make all the difference.

"With the changing political environment, you never know what's going to happen," said Pugh, a first-year engineering teacher at Nature Coast Technical High School. "I'm just going to continue to work hard and hope for the best."

Hoping to make a dent against a candidate with more recognition and funding, Davis and Taylor have promised to bring a fresh perspective to city government.

Davis, 28, who runs a metal fabrication company in south Brooksville, said he wants to bring accountability and fiscal responsibility to the council.

"There's so much that needs to be changed," Davis said. "It's important to spend the money that we receive from the taxpayers wisely."

Taylor, 38, who's the only Housing Authority resident on the city board, said she would encourage the city reach out more often to under-served areas of Brooksville. She also wants to explore ways to bring more businesses into town to position Brooksville for more growth after the economic slowdown.

"I want what's best and good for the city of Brooksville," Taylor said. "I think I bring something new and different."

Pugh, son of the city's former parks and recreation director, touted his four-year record of pushing for reduced taxes, bringing more professionalism to City Hall and encouraging more cooperation with county government.

He spoke specifically of a recently signed mutual-aid agreement between the city and county fire departments that essentially ends jurisdictional boundaries and allows for immediate response by the closest agency.

"The dispatch deal was a no-brainer," Pugh said. "I think that's really helped us. Things like that are what we've been doing for the past two years. And I think it's vital that we keep moving in that direction."

However, Davis has been a critic of consolidating city and county services. Davis said he wants to make sure that city residents don't suffer from a drop in the quality of services.

"I don't have a problem with saving money," Davis said. "But at the same time, I don't want to lose any services. In America, it's good to have options for everyone."

Davis also said that he was disappointed with some of the recent changes at City Hall, which included some job cuts and a reorganization of the administration. Some changes, Davis said, have come at the expense of embarrassing some of the city employees.

He declined to get into any specifics.

"The trend at City Hall is to get rid of everybody," Davis said. "And I don't think the city should run our dirty laundry up the flag pole. We need to limit the amount of embarrassment the city experiences."

Meanwhile, Taylor said she's most interested in having the city provide more programs for children and figuring out ways to revitalize older, more blighted parts of town.

"We're supposed to take care of the people in our communities," Taylor said. "I want what's best and good for the people of our city. 'How can we revitalize Brooksville?' is the question we should be asking ourselves."

Taylor believes that, despite the odds, she can rally the support needed to unseat Pugh and defeat Davis.

"Word of mouth is the biggest thing, it's been really positive," Taylor said. "People know David and they know Cecil. I truly don't have the money to compete in that way. But I think I have a very good chance of winning."

Pugh, of course, is taking nothing for granted.

"I think I'm doing things smarter in this campaign," he said. "And I think people will see all the changes the city has made in the past four years and the direction we're going in. We have a good city government that is operating today."

Joel Anderson can be reached at or at 352-754-6120.

Incumbent for Brooksville City Council taking challenge seriously 10/31/08 [Last modified: Friday, October 31, 2008 7:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally


    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees


    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  4. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact


    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.
  5. Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show


    WASHINGTON — Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, current and former U.S. …

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after meetings with an ambassador were revealed.