Thursday, March 15, 2018

Kilsheimer falls short, Leary wins big in Central Florida elections, and more

Posted By on Thu, Mar 15, 2018 at 12:40 PM

Orlando Weekly is getting to this update a little late, because sometimes life happens, but that doesn’t diminish the results of Tuesday night’s local elections across Central Florida.

Joe Kilsheimer, who was elected as Apopka mayor in 2014 after ending John Land’s 43-year run, was defeated for re-election by Orange County Commissioner Bryan Nelson. Coincidentally, Nelson is a relative of Land’s through marriage.

Meanwhile, Winter Park Mayor Steve Leary went all the way yet again, handily taking down challenger Jim Fitch. And George Oliver III also became the first African-American to be elected to a seat on the Ocoee City Commission. (Here's a little background on why that's extra significant.)

But, circling back, Tuesday’s results didn’t settle everything for Apopka voters. A runoff election is set for next month because none of the candidates vying for two seats on City Council won a majority of votes in the four-person contests for either respective seat.

The Seat 1 race will take place between Suzanne Kidd and Alexander Smith, both of whom are hoping to replace Billie Dean – the only African-American commissioner, who’s calling it quits after 24 years on the City Council.

The Seat 2 race will see a face-off between incumbent Diane Velazquez, a retired police detective, and Alice Nolan, an administrative assistant for Catholic Charities.

The runoff will reportedly be held on April 10.

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