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The Concerned Citizens of Maitland is having a meet the candidates forum for Maitland mayor on 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11, in the east wing of the Maitland Civic Center. Contact John Book at 407-222-8230.
The race for Maitland mayor got off to a sluggish start over the holidays. Now the three candidates are focused on building momentum as their campaigns enter the final weeks.
Hosted by the Concerned Citizens of Maitland, the mayoral forum scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 11, will be in town hall format, with real-time questions being posed by citizen attendees.
“It’s not a debate at all,” incumbent Mayor Howard Schieferdecker said. “I think it’s a lot nicer that way.”
Challenger Doug Kinson, the city’s former mayor, said the event is crucial for the race. “It’s important to have a good turnout for that.”
Kinson and political newcomer John Yanchunis are challenging Schieferdecker for his seat. In 2011, Schieferdecker, then a city councilman, took over the mayor’s post after Kinson resigned to run for Orange County Commission.
According to campaign finance reports released Tuesday, Schieferdecker has raised $5,900 to Kinson’s $2,300. Yanchunis has reported just $60 in contributions, but he said Tuesday that an additional $700 to $800 would be reflected on his next campaign finance report.
All three candidates said they’ve been canvassing neighborhoods, talking to residents about city issues. Kinson and Schieferdecker’s campaign signs dot lawns across the city.
Yanchunis said his signs will be going out later this week. The small business owner said he’s not worried that his campaign chest doesn’t hold up to his opponents’. He has a group of active volunteers – including a team from Full Sail University building his campaign website – on his side. “It’s more of a grassroots movement,” he said.
The elections in Winter Park and Maitland are piggybacking on the Republican Presidential Primary, leaving many worried that the cities’ registered Democrats will stay home on Election Day.
But the races for mayor, along with the economic tax incentive referendums for Maitland and Orange County, are nonpartisan.
“Three of the four items on the ballot are for everyone and not just for Republicans,” Schieferdecker said.
Visit ocfelections.com and itsmymaitland.com for voter information and polling locations.