Local politicians from Winter Park, Maitland and Orange County won big in Tuesday’s election.
The voters have spoken.
Winter Park and Maitland residents went to the polls on Tuesday, Aug. 28 to cast their votes and make their voices heard. Here are the unofficial election results – excluding provisional ballots – on local races of interest from the Orange County Supervisor of Elections website as of Tuesday night.
State Rep. District 47
Winter Park resident Stockton Reeves said he wanted to make a difference in Tallahassee, and now he’s moved another step closer to doing just that as he captured the Republican nomination for State Rep. District 47 on Tuesday’s election. He defeated opponent Mikaela Nix with 7,853 votes (54.55%). Nix finished with 6,544 votes (45.45%).
“After knocking on 2,569 houses personally and losing 16 pounds and being out there and talking to as many people as we talked to, it’s just an overwhelming sense of relief,” Reeves said. “It’s not so much joy as it is relief, and knowing that there’s a lot of hard work ahead. I’m not afraid of that hard work – in fact I’m looking forward to it.”
U.S. Rep. District 7
Stephanie Murphy moved one step closer to retaining her U.S. Rep. District 7 seat as she handily defeated Chardo Richardson for the Democratic nomination. The Winter Park local captured 21,506 Orange County votes (86.67%). Richardson finished with 3,307 votes (13.33%).
“I am incredibly honored to earn the Democratic nomination for Congress, and I look forward to a civil general election campaign based on ideas, values, and our different visions for the future of this nation,” Murphy wrote in a statement.
“My campaign is about jobs, security, and equality, and I’m proud of the grassroots support we've received across Central Florida. In a time of historic dysfunction, I have a proven record of working with both parties to get results, standing up to the president when he’s wrong, and always putting people over politics.”
State Rep. District 30
Joy Goff-Marcil moved up in the world on the political spectrum and captured the Democratic nomination for State Rep. District 30. She served on the Maitland City Council since 2013, but decided to broaden her scope as a public servant.
She defeated opponents Clark Anderson and Brendan Ramírez with a total of 2,323 votes (50.65%). Ramírez earned 1,174 votes (25.60%) and Anderson finished with 1,089 votes (23.75%).
Orange County School Board District 1
Angie Gallo captured the school board seat that represents Winter Park on Tuesday’s election with 11,828 votes (50.05%). She defeated Heather Traynham, who acquired 7,381 votes (31.23%), and Terry Rooth, who finished with 4,425 votes (18.72%).
Orange County School Board District 6
Karen Castor Dentel won the school board seat that includes Maitland and College Park with her 15,168 votes (51.94%). She defeated Patricia Fox, who finished with 10,250 votes (35.10%), and Charlene Roberts Norato, who earned 3,784 votes (12.96%).
Winter Park businessman Chris King fought well, but he we will not be Florida’s next governor.
After traveling across the state pushing his campaign, King finished with 4,495 Orange County votes (4.55%) and fell short of the Democratic nomination for Florida Governor.
Opponent Andrew Gillum captured the nomination with the help of 39,952 Orange County votes (40.42%).
King addressed a group of ardent supporters at The Alfond Inn following the election.
“Eighteen months ago we began this journey – we began this campaign to try and change the future of Florida politics,” King said.
“Together you and I answered the call to serve. The forces against us, as we soon found out, were strong: the political establishment, Big Sugar, the NRA, transitional politics and transactional politicians. But I didn’t quit, and you didn’t quit on me.”
Orange County Mayor and Orange County School Board Chair
Longtime leaders Jerry Demings and Teresa Jacobs will continue to represent constituents in Orange County — but in different capacities.
Demings, former Orange County sheriff, will succeed Jacobs as the next Orange County mayor. Jacobs will remain in the spotlight though as chair of the Orange County School Board.
Both candidates won their respective races handily. Demings won 114,563 votes (61.62%), easily besting challengers Pete Clarke, who received 40,901 votes (22%), and Winter Park resident Rob Panepinto, who earned 30,445 votes (16.38%).
Similarly, Jacobs emerged from a field of four with 95,442 votes (52.18%). That total was enough to boost her over challengers Matthew Fitzpatrick, 30,537 votes (16.70%); Robert Prater, 9,756 votes (5.33%); and Nancy Robbinson, 47,174 votes (25.79%).
From his watch party Tuesday at the Florida Hotel and Conference Center’s Heroes Ballroom, Demings said he was ready to begin work as Orange County’s next mayor.
“I promise to put the people first over politics as we continue to make Orange County a great place to live, work and do business,” he said. “I am excited about our future, and I’m ready to get to work as your mayor.
“To the voters, thank you,” Demings said. “I owe you a debt of gratitude for entrusting me to be the fifth elected mayor of Orange County. My victory tonight speaks volumes of just how far this community has come. The son of a maid and a taxicab driver has been elected. I hope that this inspires every boy or a girl, because if you work hard and you play by the rules, you can become whoever you dream to be.”
In her victory speech Tuesday at MetroWest Golf Club, Jacobs vowed this was just the beginning of her influence in local public education and noted school safety and teachers as priorities.
“Those teachers are so, incredibly important, and we as a society have forgotten that,” she said. “We’ve forgotten to pay them for the important job that they do, and we’ve got to do better. It ought to be something that you (do) and you proudly serve as a teacher. And you ought to be able to make a living and support your family doing that.
“So, that’s a job bigger than just Orange County Public Schools,” Jacobs said. “That’s a statewide challenge, but we’ve all got … to tackle that challenge together. The one thing I know about Orange County — unlike any place else I’ve ever lived — when we put our minds to something, when we put aside our differences and we agree on the direction we’re going, we are unstoppable.”
In addition to these two races, Orange County voters delivered a landslide victory for Orange County Public Schools as they passed the ad-valorem millage with 154,558 votes (83.55%).