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Woman to run as no-party candidate

Roberta Kelly, owner of Mediation and Educational Service Associates, announced Friday that she will run for Hernando County Commission District 1 as a no-party candidate.

"I feel like I can be a very good, fair, impartial county commissioner," said Kelly, 51, of Brooksville. "I personally believe there ought to be a non-partisan on the commission."

Active on the county Juvenile Justice Council, Kelly has not sought public office before. She will jump immediately to the November general election, where she will face candidates from the already-crowded Republican and Democrat fields.

On the Democratic side, incumbent Pat Novy faces Mary E. Whitehouse and Paul H. Weekley. Republicans vying for the nomination are Janey Baldwin, Anna Liisa Covell and Joseph Johnston III, who has said he might drop out of the race.

Kelly said she did not have major problems with the commission's actions of late. Rather, she professed a desire to serve.

"I want to see our county continue to grow and prosper and maintain a healthy balance with the environment, industry and residential," Kelly said.

According to Kelly's resume, she has a master's degree in guidance and counseling from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She moved to Hernando County in 1992.

She had been toying with the idea of running for commission since November.

"I just feel it's something that God wants me to do," Kelly said.