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West Orange Times & Observer Tuesday, Mar. 12, 2019 9 months ago

Brinson Wins Ocoee Commission District 1 election

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Larry B. Brinson Sr. defeated incumbent John Grogan by just a handful of votes in the election for Ocoee Commission District 1.
by: Eric Gutierrez Staff Writer

Larry B. Brinson Sr. has won the election in the race for Ocoee Commission District 1. 

“I’m very excited — extremely excited, in fact — (about winning),” Brinson said. “I think there’s a lot of things to be said about this type of victory because it was close, which means that it (election) was something that was meaningful to a lot of people.” 

The election came down to just a handful of votes. Brinson defeated incumbent John Grogan, who served on the city commission for two terms, by 10 votes. Of 6,790 eligible voters in Ocoee’s District 1, 598 District 1 voters casted their ballots in the election, which is a voter turnout of 8.81%. Brinson received 303 votes, or 50.84%, and Grogan received 293 votes, or 49.16%, according to the Supervisor of Elections website.

“It wasn’t a landslide on either side,” Brinson said. “We knew it was going to be an uphill battle, not only because the incumbent was the incumbent, but because he had been there for two terms already. So, we’re very excited about our victory.”

Brinson is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps who has served more than 20 years. He’s lived in Ocoee for about 13 years. Some of the top issues Brinson highlighted in his campaign were public safety and infrastructure. Now that he’s secured a seat on the city commission, he can work toward addressing some of those issues, he said.

“We want to make sure that our first responders — our police and fire (departments) — are well-equipped and well-trained,” Brinson said. “Public safety also includes street lights. We want to make sure that (our street lights) — especially at major streets that run through the city — are well lit.”

“Then of course, there’s the infrastructure,” he continued. “(We need to be) ensuring that the infrastructure will support the growth that’s currently happening in Ocoee. Ocoee is not only fast-growing, it’s a very diverse town, and I think it’s very attractive to others that live outside of Ocoee as well with businesses. We want to make sure the infrastructure and the amenities the city offers remain attractive.”

Brinson said he was inspired to run after he felt his concerns over infrastructure and safety in District 1 were being ignored. He added that he wasn’t satisfied the amount of property taxes some individuals in District 1 were paying in relation to his district’s infrastructure needs.

“One of the (issues I ran on) … is the amount we pay in property taxes versus what we see being provided for us for those property taxes,” Brinson said. “The infrastructure is part of what we pay for (with) property taxes. … What we’d like to see is someone who’s championing our issues — someone who’s going to go there to the city commission and be our voice and our advocate.”

Eric Gutierrez is a staff writer with the West Orange Times & Observer and the West Orange Observer. He graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2015 with a double major in Journalism and Political Science. Contact Eric at...

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