A steady stream of residents showed up to cast ballots Saturday on the first day of early voting.
Jim and Lilla Nickerson of the Village of Summerhill cast their ballots at the polling place at Laurel Manor Recreation Center.
The Nickersons, who are from Massachusetts and have been married for 59 years, said they have always made it a priority to vote.
“It’s better to get it done early,” said Jim Nickerson, who has been in The Villages for 18 years.
There are plenty of closely watched contests on the ballot including:
• Four seats are up for grabs on the Sumter County Commission. All candidates are running as Republicans and there are no Democrats. That opens the voting to all residents of Sumter County.
• Incumbent Congressman Daniel Webster is facing a challenge from within his own party by 29-year-old Laura Loomer. She trounced Webster in a recent Villagers for Trump straw poll.
• John Temple and Rock Daze are squaring off in the GOP race for the Florida House of Representatives seat currently held by state Rep. Brett Hage, who opted not to seek re-election due to fierce criticism about his ties to the Developer of The Villages, who is also his employer. The newly redrawn House district includes Sumter County and part of Hernando County.
The League of Women Voters has readied the non-partisan resource, VOTE411.org for all eligible voters to “one stop shop” in preparing for the Florida Primary which is set for Tuesday, Aug. 23.