Women of Florida Politics: Mayor Linda Hudson

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Mayor Linda Hudson of Fort Pierce was first elected in November 2012 and was subsequently reelected.  In 2017, she received the Home Rule Hero Award.  The Home Rule Hero Award recipients are local government officials – elected and nonelected – who consistently responded to the League’s request to reach out to members of the legislature and help give a local perspective to an issue.

In an interview by the Orlando Political Observer with Mayor Hudson, she responded to the following three questions:

  1. Why did you decide to devote your time and energy to public service?

Fort Pierce is my hometown. When I returned here after a 25 year absence, I wanted this beautiful and historic city to be the best it could be.  I started following local budget decision making. This led me on the path to running for Mayor in 2012, winning the general election by 61 votes after a mandatory recount. I was unopposed when I sought reelection in 2016. I want Fort Pierce to be known as the safe city I know it is. I want families to be able to support themselves with jobs that pay well.  I want visitors to come to Fort Pierce and enjoy the beauty of our Atlantic Ocean beaches, the biodiversity of the Indian River Lagoon, and the year-round climate to enjoy outdoor activities, like our many golf courses, nature trails, boating and fishing.  Fort Pierce retains its small town charm, but Miami and Orlando are only two hours away.

  1. As Mayor, what are some of the most difficult issues that you face?

One of the most difficult issues is improving roads and other aging infrastructure in this century-old coastal town.  Another issue is transforming the Port of Fort Pierce from an underperforming asset into a thriving seaport.  A third difficult issue is findng the funding to move our wastewater treatment plant from its location on the sensitive Indian River Lagoon to a more suitable spot inland.

  1. Have you faced any unique challenges as a woman in politics?

I am the first female to be Mayor of Fort Pierce. I do not believe that my fellow elected officials respected me less because I am female, nor did my constituents. In my early career, I was often in the minority among male colleagues. I have lived through the civil rights and women’s movements and women have come a long way since those days. I would like to be one of the best mayors of Fort Pierce, in addition to the first woman Mayor

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