Longtime Fort Meade Commissioner Melony Bell has announced her candidacy for the District 2 County Commission seat in 2010. She is running as a Republican.
Bell, 47, has served on the Fort Meade City Commission, including three years as mayor, for 13 years.
“What I carry from experience with the city can make a great impact for the county,” she said.
Bell said she will formally kick off her campaign Monday at 4 p.m. with a reception at Fort Meade City Hall. Bell, a Winter Haven, native, has lived in Fort Meade most of her life.
She works as a compliance officer and auditor for the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, where she has been employed for 28 years.
She said she plans to retire from her state job and devote herself to the commission job full-time if she is elected.
Bell has a degree in business and professional leadership from Southeastern University in Lakeland, which she received in 2008. She and her husband, Robbie, have two adult daughters.
District 2 covers southern Polk County from Lake Wales to Mulberry. She is the second Republican to enter the race. Heath Whiteaker of Lake Wales announced his candidacy in January.
The race has also drawn Democrat Jacki Smith of Kathleen, who said she is planning to move to the district.
The winner of the election will succeed County Commissioner Randy Wilkinson, who is leaving office because of voter-imposed term limits. County commissioners are elected countywide, but must reside in the district they represent while in office. Commissioners serve four-year terms and are paid $41,328 a year.