February 11, 2019 (Orange County, Florida) — They are just as important as state and national elections but people often forget about them: city elections. If you live in the city of Belle Isle, Ocoee, Windermere or Winter Park, you may have an opportunity to vote for a new mayor or other public officials in your town on Tuesday, March 12.
It all depends on whether you live in a district that has open public positions and whether your city votes at large or in single member districts. (At large means all registered voters elect their public officials citywide and in single member districts, registered voters elect public officials within established city districts.)
In Belle Isle, voters will elect a new Mayor and District 3 Commissioner. Holly Bobrowski, Nick Fouraker and Rick Miller are vying for the mayoral seat, while Karl Shuck and Ben Bateman are seeking the District 3 seat. The incumbent candidates in District 2 and District 4, Anthony Carugno and Mike Sims, ran unopposed, respectively. Council members and mayor are elected at large and serve three-year terms.
Ocoee had three open positions, including incumbent Mayor but Mayor Rusty Johnson and incumbent District 3 Commissioner Richard Firstner both ran unopposed. The city could make history again with the election of Larry Brinson, Sr. to its commission. Brinson, who is running against incumbent John W. Grogan for the District 1 seat, would join George Oliver III, as the city’s second African-American elected to council in the city’s history. Oliver won his District 4 seat in 2017 by only 41 votes and became the city’s first African-American to get elected to the council. Ocoee’s Mayor is elected at large and city commissioners are elected from single member districts and serve four-year terms.
In the Town of Windermere, incumbent Mayor Gary Bruhn ran unopposed to fill the remainder of an one-year term. Three council seats, elected at large, are up for grabs. The candidates are: Liz Andert, Mike Hargreaves, Bob McKinley (incumbent), Bill Martini, Richard Montgomery (incumbent) and Dina Pryor. The three winning council members will serve a two-year term.
In Winter Park, long-time City Commissioner Carolyn Cooper ran unopposed for her District 3 seat, while three candidates vie for the District 4 seat: Barbara Chandler, Todd Weaver and Pete Weldon (incumbent). Council members are elected at large.
There will be a run-off election April 9 in the cities of Belle Isle and Winter Park, if needed.
The City of Orlando’s General Election is set for Tuesday, November 5. Voters will elect a new mayor or re-elect Buddy Dyer and pick from candidates vying for commission seats in districts 2,4 and 6.
Orlando Community News, 2019