Winter Park, Maitland mayoral seats contested

Candidates qualify

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  • | 6:17 p.m. November 8, 2011
Photo by: Jenny Andreasson - Former Maitland Mayor Doug Kinson is running for the seat he vacated to run for Orange County Commissioner. He's one of two challengers running against incumbent Mayor Howard Schieferdecker.
Photo by: Jenny Andreasson - Former Maitland Mayor Doug Kinson is running for the seat he vacated to run for Orange County Commissioner. He's one of two challengers running against incumbent Mayor Howard Schieferdecker.
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Winter Park:

Ken Bradley (incumbent)

Nancy Miles


Howard Schieferdecker (incumbent)

Doug Kinson

John Yanchunis

UPDATED: Douglas T. Kinson, Howard A. Schieferdecker and John A. Yanchunis have officially qualified as Maitland mayoral candidates.

Minutes before the Winter Park qualifying period closed on Tuesday, Mayor Ken Bradley got a challenger. A whole week before the Maitland qualifying period opened, two candidates had filed paperwork to challenge Mayor Howard Schieferdecker.

At press time, City Clerk Cindy Bonham was still verifying Winter Park mayoral candidate Nancy Miles’ paperwork.

In Maitland, former Mayor Doug Kinson filed paperwork on Tuesday morning to run against Schieferdecker. On Nov. 3, Maitland resident John Yanchunis also filed paperwork for the race. The candidacies won’t be confirmed until Maitland’s qualifying period closes at noon on Nov. 18.


Schieferdecker replaced Kinson at the mayor’s post in January, when Kinson had to resign with 16 months left on his term in order to run for Orange County Commission. Former County Commissioner Ted Edwards defeated Kinson in the race.

In June 2010, Kinson seconded Councilwoman Bev Reponen’s motion to nominate Schieferdecker as vice mayor — under the notion that he would become mayor in January. Kinson then tutored Schieferdecker during the six months leading up to the changeover.

Schieferdecker said he wasn’t taken aback by Kinson’s intention to reclaim the mayor’s seat.

“He was a good mayor and he’s been good to me,” Schieferdecker said. “He worked hard to train me and I have no negative stuff to say period. I’m not going to go there.”

In turn, Kinson had nothing but nice things to say about Schieferdecker.

“I have great respect for him,” Kinson said. “If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have supported him so strongly in becoming vice mayor at the time.”

Both candidates agreed that their campaign platforms will be similar, as they share the same core goals: to revitalize Maitland’s downtown, embrace SunRail and stabilize the city’s tax base. Both have backgrounds in commercial real estate, but Schieferdecker is retired.

The third candidate, John Yanchunis, is a newcomer to politics. He’s lived in Maitland for two years and owns a wireless communications business in the metro area.

He said he also wants to see the downtown revitalized and SunRail come through. He supports more community outreach at the city level, a lower fee for farmer’s market merchants and more red-light cameras.

He said he could be a breath of fresh air on Council.

“I don’t have any bad habits,” he said. “I’m not stuck in the old tendencies of a previous administration.”

Winter Park

The qualifying period for the Maitland mayoral election opens at noon on Monday, Nov.14, and closes at noon on Friday, Nov.18. For additional information, call 407-539-6219.

Mayor Ken Bradley has a challenger for his seat, and she submitted her paperwork with just a few minutes left before the end of qualifying, which ended at noon on Nov. 8.

Nancy Miles is a homemaker, community volunteer and former school board member who has lived in Winter Park for 11 years.

She served on the school board when she lived in Salem, Conn., where she also said she worked to register voters. This will be her first run at public office in Winter Park.

“I’m not nervous,” the first-time candidate said. “I’m looking forward to it.”

She said she’s worked quickly to put together a campaign during the week of qualifying, amassing 40 signatures from supporters.

“It’s been busy,” she said. “I’ve had a lot of people helping me out.”

Incumbent Bradley has been on the campaign trail officially since Nov. 1, when he hosted his kickoff party. He said he was ready to run, even though no candidates filed their paperwork until the last day of qualifying.

“I’m very excited,” Bradley said. “I’ve been planning to run this race already.”

Bradley said that his record as mayor should help him win re-election on Jan. 31, 2012.

“I’m excited to tell the citizens of Winter Park about how much better this city is compared to three years ago,” Bradley said. “Our economy is better, our city’s finances are better, Central Park is remodeled, more roads are paved, better sidewalks. I think the citizens see that already.”