BY JAMES HARPER
Volusia County Councilwoman Joyce Cusack filed paperwork last week to run again for the at-large seat she has held since 2010.
Cusack, the only Black on the council, told the Daytona Times Wednesday she was caught off guard and shocked when she learned that fellow council member Pat Northey filed paperwork to run for the at-large seat.
The election is not until November 2014 – if Northey and Cusack are the only two in the race. If more than two file for the seat, a primary will be necessary.
Cusack said she plans to run for re-election but had no intention of filing so early.
“She (Northey) was under the impression I wasn’t running. She never asked me. That is at least what she should have done,” Cusack remarked.
But Cusack said she is not worried about the competition.
“There are things I want to do and projects that have started I want to see through. I feel good, I look good, and I am good at what I do,” Cusack continued.
“We need to let the people decide if they want someone with new ideas or do they want to continue with someone who has a business-as-usual mindset, who has been on board 20 years,” Cusack said, noting that she has been on the Volusia County Council for only three years.
“I represent everybody. I have no vested interest in any segment of the community. My voting record speaks for itself,” Cusack concluded.
Pat Northey told the Daytona Times, “When I filed paperwork, my understanding was that she was not running and she encouraged me to run. She said this to me in January. She said, ‘I am not going to run for re-election.’ ”
Now that Northey knows Cusack is running, she said she is still committed to seeking the seat.
Northey is term-limited and can no longer seek her Zone 5 seat.
Northey said she announced early because she wants to establish a campaign bank account so she can solicit financial support.
“I have been a very good public servant and would like to continue,” Northey added.