Sept. 12, 2022 (Orlando) – ONE vote. Locally, Primary Election Day ended with an Orange County Commission seat race too close to call for a runoff vote. The District 6 race was eventually settled (somewhat) days later with community activist Lawanna Gelzer getting the most votes and facing off against Mentoring Program Director Michael Scott in the November General Election. Community activist Cynthia Harris was ONE vote shy of Scott for second place, according to the official election results posted on the county’s Supervisor of Elections Office website. However, the election’s office official RECOUNT results shows Harris was six votes short of Scott. The result of the second place position was the closest among all of the races in the county.
The District 6 seat, open because Commissioner Victoria Siplin this year reached the term limit, represents Pine Hills, Orlo Vista, Ivey Lane, Eagle’s Nest, Washington Shores and Richmond Heights, to name a few communities and businesses along the International Drive corridor.
At least two state races had opposite election results (compared to the District 6 race): United States Representative Val Demings handedly won the Democratic nomination for Senate, winning more than 91 percent of the votes and U.S. Representative Charlie Crist won his bid for the Florida Governor Democratic nomination, with more than 58 percent of the votes against Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried. When Fried conceded on election night to Crist, she rallied behind him and called on her supporters to support Crist in the November General Election, according to reports.
In most of the state races on the Republican side, candidates easily won their races, according to the county’s official election results. Republicans had no primary competition in four of the five open state-level positions – governor, U.S. Senate, attorney general and chief financial officer – all held by incumbents, according to reports.
To see more election results from the county, go to the elections office website: http://www.ocfelections.gov
Editor’s Note: The Primary Election here on August 23 proved once again, the need for strategic efforts to get out the vote among local residents to select their representatives for key public offices and the need for servant leaders who want to make significant change in the communities that they represent.
Those types of leaders work and show that they care about the lives in their communities. You often see them around town or hear from them – well after elections.
Hats off to Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, who won his re-election bid with more than 60 percent of the votes. Like him or not, you saw Demings and heard from him often – from the time we first learned of the outbreak of COVID-19.
You really don’t have to have a title/public office to be a servant leader (You probably can get more work done, though.)
That reminds me of folk like Sandra Fatmi-Hall, who along with her husband Dennis, spearheaded a community food drive in the Pine Hills community several years ago and never stopped. It’s groceries for families not just one person! While the Halls and their partners financially make the food drive happen, they will tell you that it’s an united effort including a group of residents, students and business owners who volunteer their time and resources. Sandra should be celebrated for all that she does and for a great campaign run for the District 2 county commission seat. (She came in second place.)
In Orange County, while 189,202 residents voted, the total voter turnout was still very low at 22 percent, according to the official election results posted on the county’s Supervisor of Elections Office website. (There are 857,308 registered voters in the county, according to the elections office.)
While there are local non-partisan public offices in the county, like county commission and school board, Florida is a closed primary state. Primary elections, held every two years, are for voters to select candidates within their party to be voted for in the General Election to assume national, state, county or district public offices.
The General Election will be held on Nov. 8.