“Service is the rent we pay for living. It is the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time.” -Marian Wright Edelman
A native of Tallahassee, Cynthia Moore Chestnut received her B.S. in Speech Pathology from Florida A & M University; M.S. in Speech Pathology from Florida State University and D.P.A. from Nova-Southeastern University in Public Administration.
She began her political career in Gainesville, becoming the first African American woman elected to the Gainesville City Commission as mayor-commissioner; first woman and African American elected to serve in the Florida House of Representatives, House District 23; first African American woman elected to the Alachua County Commission and to serve as chair. In January 2022, Dr. Chestnut was re-elected to the Gainesville City Commission, serving in the seat where she began her political career as an at-large commissioner.
In 2014, Chestnut was elected to fill an unexpired term as chair of the Alachua County Democratic Executive Committee, and appointed as vice chair of the Florida Democratic Party. She was elected to a full four-year term as chair of the Alachua County Democratic Executive Committee in 2016, becoming the first African American to serve as party chair. In 2019, Chestnut was elected to chair the Democratic County Chairs Association of Florida.
In 2020, Dr. Chestnut became one of the founding members and first chair of the Florida Democratic Black Women’s Consortium, a grassroots organization dedicated to voter empowerment, voter education and building a bench of candidates for appointed or elected office in the state of Florida.
Her memberships include Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Gainesville Chapter of the Links, the Visionaries Club, Democratic Women’s Club of Alachua County, the Opinionated Ladies Book Club (founder) and Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church.
She is married to Charles S. Chestnut III, mother to Christopher and stepmother to five, including Charles “Chuck” Chestnut IV.