The West Orange Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for its biennial Hob Nob and Straw Poll.
WEST ORANGE With the Aug. 28 primary election just weeks away, the West Orange Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for an event that will allow participants to meet candidates in many local races.
WOCC has hosted its Hob Nob and Straw Poll every two years now for decades, said chamber president Stina D’Uva. The event, which takes place on Thursday, Aug. 2, serves as a way for guests to get to know the candidates they will be voting for in the upcoming primary and general elections.
“We really do want our business members and the greater West Orange community to know who the candidates are and to get to meet them face to face,” D’Uva said. “Most people don't get invited to fundraiser or have opportunities to meet them all, so this puts them all in one big room so you have an opportunity to talk to them and ask questions like, ‘Why are you running?’ or ‘Why do you think you're the best candidate for this seat?’ It’s a good one-on-one opportunity for people.”
Not only will attendees get to meet many of the candidates who will appear on the ballot this year, they’ll also get to cast their vote during the straw poll. Everyone, including the candidates and their campaign workers, receives a ticket for voting purposes. Whether Democrat, Republican or no party affiliation, each person gets one vote.
“The ballot is very similar to the ballots everyone receives as a Democrat or Republican, but they're actually combined,” D’Uva said. “Democrats can vote for Republicans and vice versa, and (those with) no party affiliation also get to vote…they typically don't do primaries. The ballot is a combination of Republicans and Democrats. These people have qualified: Whether it’s a nonpartisan, Republican or Democrat seat, their names are on the ballots for most of the races in our area, especially those that are in West Orange.”
WOCC’s straw poll uses official tabulation equipment from the Supervisor of Elections office, and its ballot is custom made because it also includes positions that aren’t necessarily located directly in the West Orange area.
“(For example) we include County Commission District 4 on there because county commissioners vote on every issue, whether it’s in their district or not,” D’Uva said. “Those votes count on matters that happen in West Orange. Whether or not they truly represent our particular districts, we care and we get those on the ballots. …I’m most looking forward to seeing a good crowd of people that really understand the importance of electing good, honest, hardworking people committed to our community.”
U.S. Representative, District 10
State Representative, District 44
Margaret Melanie Gold
Attorney General of Florida
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Orange County Mayor
Orange County Sheriff
Jose "Joe" Lopez
Orange County Commission, District 2
Mark Allen Byrd
Orange County Commission, District 3
Orange County Commission, District 4
Orange County School Board Chair
Orange County School Board, District 1
Orange County School Board, District 2
Orange County School Board, District 3
Orange County School Board, District 7
Melissa Mitchell Byrd
Ninth Judicial Circuit Judge, Group 15
Jeffrey Lee Ashton
Howard D. Friedman
Ninth Judicial Circuit Judge, Group 26
Ninth Judicial Circuit Judge, Group 41
Dean Fredrick Mosley
County Judgeship Group 11
Adam K. McGinnis
Doricia “Dori" Miller Rivas
Orange County Republican Executive Committee
Soil and Water, District 4