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He'll try once more

Allen Fort, who unsuccessfully bid for a seat on the Citrus County Commission in 1992, is trying to find a place on the board once again.

This time, the Democrat hopes to represent District 4, a seat expected to be left open as Commissioner Chet White makes a run at the state Legislature.

Fort took his first formal steps as a candidate Friday when he filed paperwork with the supervisor of elections office. The general election is scheduled for Nov. 8, with the primary set on Sept. 8. To officially qualify for the ballot, Fort either must pay a $2,273.70 filing fee or present signatures from 889 registered Democrats this summer.

Joe Cino is running as a Republican. So far, no other Democrats have entered the race.

Fort, 46, could not be reached for comment Friday evening. News accounts show he was born in Ocala, graduated from high school in Belleview and has lived in Citrus since 1974. He is retired from the Florida National Guard.

In 1992, Fort was bidding to represent District 1, which covers the county's northwest section, including most of Crystal River, Red Level, Citronelle and Dunnellon. He lived in Dunnellon at the time.

During that race, Fort touted his experience as the owner of a small business _ Allen's Auto Parts in Dunnellon. He also called himself a "dedicated environmentalist" and said he favored strong law enforcement.

Fort lost in the Democratic primary to Sidney Kennedy, who went on to lose to Republican Frank Schiraldi.

Fort has moved since then and now hopes to represent District 4, which covers southeast Citrus, including Sugarmill Woods and Floral City.

The term lasts four years and pays $30,316 per year. Although commissioners must live within their district boundaries and formally represent that district, they are elected countywide.