By Wes Wolfe
It remains to be seen what effect Nassau County Commissioner Aaron Bell’sarrest on suspicion of driving under the influence will have on his re-election campaign. However, as the campaign entered July, Bell retained a commanding fundraising lead over challenger Hupp Huppmann.
Bell didn’t raise any money in the last part of June, though he had around $18,850 on hand at the end of the reporting period. However, he recently had a fundraiser at Story & Song Bookstore.
Huppmann, in comparison, managed to raise $7,000 in June but spent less than $1,000 of it, entering July with around $7,240 in the bank.
Bell’s vocal opposition to Riverstone Properties’ attempt to force the county into accepting 11 85-foot towers on the south end of Amelia Island, and the style that opposition took, has been a centerpiece of the campaign.
“This is in my Commission district,” Bell said at the time. “I do understand the concerns of the folks who live here. I live there. I cannot and will not support the settlement, and my vote will be for option three, where the county tells Riverstone to pound sand and see you in court.”
Bell uses it as a rallying point, while Huppmann takes it as an example of how they’re different.
“Bad development is when it’s not properly planned,” Huppmann said during a Nassau County Chamber of Commerce candidate interview series.
He noted, for instance, when parks and schools aren’t properly planned for within a new development.
“When you don’t have the public spaces, when you don’t have the infrastructure, and it’s just pieced together, I think that’s where it starts to break down,” Huppmann said. “The future of planning, in my opinion — I’m not a developer or expert — is you plan it through so you can present a package to the community and for the area.”
Bell and Huppmann face off for District 2 on Aug. 23 in an open Republican Primary.