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Candidate drops out

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Silvera withdraws from County Commission race

By Jim Clark

Evelio Silvera, a candidate for County Commission District 3, is dropping out of the race.
Silvera, who has raised the most campaign funds this year, was a Republican bidding to replace Stan McClain, who is running for a state seat.
In a letter to the media, Silvera said:
“Dear Friend,
“In the year since we launched this campaign, I have had the opportunity to connect with incredible people throughout Marion County. Our purpose was simple and our vision was clear, our county could be a place of “unbridled opportunity.”
“As I attended Republican clubs, Rotary meetings, community forums and visited individually with business owners and residents, it became clear that our message of a more prosperous Marion County was resonating and garnering great levels of support.
“I truly believe that this community has amazing potential for growth, and with the right  leadership will continue to be one of the best places in our state to live, work and play.
“The campaign trail has been an enjoyable journey for me. I love connecting with people and building new relationships. While campaigning I have met incredible people and been moved by their stories of sacrifice and triumph. I have received great ideas and advice on the proper role of government and the correct path for our county. This experience has truly left a positive impact on me both professionally and personally.”
He then lists a series of health issues with family members, and then continued:
“In this time, it is necessary for me to focus on my family. The time and focus of a campaign is in competition with the time, focus and priority that I must give my family.
“After great prayer and consideration, I have decided to withdraw from the race for Marion County Commission. Many of you have placed your support and trust in our efforts making this a difficult decision, but I must place my family first.
“I am grateful and humbled by the overwhelming support this campaign has received by so many people throughout North Central Florida. In the coming weeks, we will be sending out letters to our supporters explaining this decision and returning all of our unused campaign funds.
“I know that our county is at a critical junction, and that the decision we make in this election will have an impact on the years to come. My hope is that the dialogue about the future of Marion County will be focused on creating an environment of prosperity for every citizen and every business, so that we can truly become a place of “unbridled opportunity.”
Silvera’s withdrawal leaves Republicans Danielle Damato Doty, Jeff Gold and Anthony L. James as the only listed candidates thus far.