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Allyson Lewis, Sara Roberts McCarley vie for Lakeland’s Southwest seat


LAKELAND – Each candidate running to represent Lakeland’s Southwest District this November believes her viewpoint on decision making will best benefit city residents. 

Political newcomer Allyson Lewis has stepped forward to challenge incumbent Commissioner Sara Roberts McCarley for Lakeland’s District C seat on Election Day. McCarley has been in office nearly three years, after replacing former commissioner Michael Dunn, who resigned when facing second-degree murder charges. 

Given McCarley was previously elected in 45-day special election cycle, this will be both candidates’ first full season on the campaign trail. 

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Lewis, 28, is a Lakeland native who works as an educator in neighboring Orange County Public Schools. Lewis told The Ledger she was inspired to run for office after engaging with residents and elected officials in a series of community forums she hosted titled “Call to Consciousness” last summer in the wake of George Floyd’s death. 

“What I’ve found is we need diversity on the board,” she said. “Not just with race but age in general. We talk about wanting young people to stay in the community, but they’re not represented.”

Lewis has previously used her law degree from Virginia State University to negotiate contracts in Washington D.C., gaining valuable experience she hopes to bring to Lakeland’s City Hall. 

“I understand the power of policy,” she said. 

Lewis said she believes the city needs to do more to address homelessness, not just among adults but also in local children, which she says has increased because of the COVID pandemic. Another key focus of her campaign is improving public safety. 



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