Matt Prosser, a city electrician, files to challenge County Commissioner Christian Caban


Matt Prosser, a substation electrician for the city of Tallahassee, has filed to challenge Leon County Commissioner Christian Caban ― who had been unopposed — for the District 2 seat.

Prosser, 45, filed to run for the post on May 17. So far, he’s the only person running against Caban, who was elected two years ago and is seeking his first full, four-year term. Born and raised in the Fort Braden area, Prosser said he’s running to be more responsive to the residents of the county’s westernmost district.

“The biggest thing — I love to help people,” he said. “You get a thrill — after these tornadoes — of helping people in need. When they need something, it doesn’t fall on deaf ears.”

Prosser, who worked long shifts along with many other utility repair personnel following the May 10 tornado outbreak, touted his “blue-collar work experience” on his campaign website, which he launched this week. Prosser, who joined the city in 2005, said both his parents earned degrees at Florida State but that college isn’t for everyone.

“We need to embrace and encourage our local government and trade workers within our community,” he said on his website. “They are the forgotten majority in District 2. I will always fight for the working class.”

Prosser said he supports cutting property taxes to help people hurting from inflation. Last year, commissioners kept the general property tax rate flat, though it still raised millions in additional revenue, and raised the Emergency Medical Services tax 50%, the first such increase in 20 years.

“Any positive stride would help,” he said of cutting taxes. “Letting the John Q. Public get a break somewhere.”

County Commissioner Christian Caban listens to public comment during the Blueprint meeting at City Hall on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023.County Commissioner Christian Caban listens to public comment during the Blueprint meeting at City Hall on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023.

County Commissioner Christian Caban listens to public comment during the Blueprint meeting at City Hall on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023.

He enters the race with a decided financial disadvantage against Caban, who has raised nearly $150,000 through his political committee and local campaign account. Prosser said he intends to raise money but downplayed its importance.

“My family’s been … in this district for over a century, knows a lot of people, and I can beat him on votes,” Prosser said. “At the end of the day, it doesn’t come down to how much money you have, it’s how many votes you have.”

Prosser also lobbed criticism at Caban, saying he didn’t help him with issues he took to the commissioner, including widening the entrance to a west-end dump and grading a national forest road to connect Bloxham Cutoff Road to State Road 20 for emergencies.

“He’s a fake,” Prosser said. “I mean, that’s what I would have to say.”

Caban responded in a text: “We are proud of all the work we have got done in our first year and a half. I’m looking forward to accomplishing more for our neighbors in District 2.”

In 2022, Prosser filed to run for the District 2 seat, which became an open contest after County Commissioner Jimbo Jackson died from long-term COVID complications. However, he dropped out before June qualifying. Caban went on to victory in the six-person contest.

Prosser, who has three sons with his wife, Kerry Prosser, also said he would push for a grocery store in District 2, the only district in the county without one. He added he would keep county roads maintained and work with law enforcement to keep streets safe.

Contact Jeff Burlew at jburlew@tallahassee.com or 850-599-2180.

This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Matt Prosser files to run against Leon County Commissioner Christian Caban



Source link