After decades serving as Orange County's Supervisor of Elections, Bill Cowles announced Wednesday he will not seek re-election in 2024.
Cowles has served as the county's Election Supervisor for the past 33 years. Now nearing 70 years old, he plans to retire when his term ends on Jan. 6, 2025.
“It has been the role of a lifetime to be trusted by the citizens of Orange County to conduct secure elections with the highest standards of integrity,” Cowles said in a statement.
Cowles began his career in Orange County in 1989 when he was hired as chief deputy. He was elected Supervisor of Elections in 1996 and has remained undefeated in every election since.
Cowles' achievements in Orange County elections include his "Adopt-A-Precinct" community partnership, which allows organizations to serve their community and fundraise as poll workers.
“Bill Cowles will leave the elections office in good hands, having assembled a team of professionals that has a combined 300+ years of elections experience. Several senior staffers have more than 15 years of experience each, from the local elections office, other counties in Florida, and even from multiple states," a news release states.
Before joining the elections team, Cowles served 13 years on Boy Scouts of America's Central Florida Council, four years on the Federal Elections Assistance Commission Board of Advisors, was president of the International Association of Clerks, Recorders, Election Officials and Treasurer, and a term president of the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections.
He is a 1976 alum of the University of Central Florida, and he remains a member of the school's Public Administration Advisory Board today.
Cowles said he intends to retire to a private life spent with his four grandsons and wife, Cheryl.
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