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Gina Baxter declares candidacy for City Council

Gina Baxter Gina Baxter

When she was 13, Gina Baxter plunged into the controversy of the day in Hendersonville — the “City of Peace” sign on North Main Street — by writing a letter to the editor of the Times-News.

Was she for or against it?

“I was for peace but now in hindsight I know there was information about where the sign came from,” she said.

She’ll get a regular dose of controversies large and small if she is successful in her campaign to win a seat on the Hendersonville City Council. On Monday, Baxter became the first person to formally announce her candidacy for the board the in November 2024 elections. The state Legislature moved city elections to even years earlier this year.

“Our city is at a pivotal point of growth, and we need to make smart, long-lasting policies to manage that growth,” Baxter said in a news release. “I look forward to getting to work, representing the interests of the people of Hendersonville. We deserve accountable, informed, local representation at the city level.” 

Baxter says her platform “is based on common sense solutions for Hendersonville families, including policy shifts toward affordable housing, increasing and redesigning public transportation, and creating caps on short-term rentals within the city limits.”

In an interview, she identified affordable housing as a major need, recounting the experience of a close friend who “worked a fulltime job and still had to move back in with their folks” because he could not find a place to live.

“I think we have seen because of the rapid growth a huge need for infrastructure that’s going to take a long time,” she said. She’d like to see the city and county collaborate to improve public transportation “because we can’t handle the traffic we have.”

She also would like to get hear from experienced residents who have ideas on making the city better.

“We need to rely on folks that have lived experiences and I think we need to seek them out,” she said. “I think people are feeling unheard.”

Baxter and her husband own a home that they share with their three dogs. She is coordinator of a program serving teenage parents at the Children & Family Resource Center.

Council members whose terms expire in December are Jennifer Hensley and Lyndsey Simpson. Filing for city elections is Dec. 1-15.

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Baxter is holding a campaign kickoff 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, at Oklawaha Brewing Company, 147 First Ave. East.