The Ocoee Political Forum will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, at Ocoee City Hall, 150 N. Lakeshore Drive, Ocoee. The forum is free and open to the public. It also will be broadcast on OGTV channel 493, the public-service channel of Bright House Networks.
Before you go to the forum — and to the polls March 15 — meet the candidates for mayor and District 3 commissioner.
CANDIDATES FOR MAYOR
RUSTY JOHNSON AGE: 70 FAMILY: Married to Marilyn for 41 years; five children, Tim, Michelle, Mark, Lisa and Lesley; 11 grandchildren PROFESSION: Retired from U.S. Postal Service; Manheim; currently at Gosselin Realty. Sergeant in the U.S. Army and a Vietnam veteran OCOEERESIDENT: Since 1955 BIRTHPLACE: Savannah, Georgia COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Ocoee city commissioner; charter member and president of the Ocoee Jaycees; Ocoee Little League executive board; executive board member of the Ocoee Bulldogs Pop Warner Program; president of the Ocoee Junior High Athletic Program; president of the West Orange High School Diamond Club; vice chairman of the National League of Cities Small Cities Council
JIM SILLS AGE: 71 FAMILY: Wife, Cathy; two daughters; one son; five grandchildren PROFESSION: Ocoee business owner since 1976 OCOEERESIDENT: Since 1976 BIRTHPLACE: Dunn, North Carolina COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Former original member and chairman of COCOPD; former member and chairman of Code Enforcement; former chairman of Equity Study Commission; former chairman and current member of Planning and Zoning; current chair of Community Grant Review Board; former president and current board member for the Ocoee Lions Club; member of Winter Garden Elks Lodge; honorary member of GFWC Woman’s Club of Ocoee
CANDIDATES FOR DISTRICT 3
RICHARD FIRSTNER AGE: 64 FAMILY: Wife, Doris Lawson Firstner; daughters, Jennifer, Jaime and Candace; granddaughters, Kendall, Alexis and Haile; and grandsons Trevor and Benjamin PROFESSION: Retired fire chief for the city of Ocoee; former deputy fire chief of the Kennedy Space Center OCOEERESIDENT: 14 years in Wesmere BIRTHPLACE: Staten Island, New York City COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Thirty-five years of public service in both the police and fire departments; current member of the Citizens Advisory Committee for the Ocoee Fire Department; volunteer for United Cerebral Palsy Elementary School, Bailes Campus; past member of the Ocoee Rotary Club; volunteer for three years with the Daily Bread Program, West Orange Christian Service Center; volunteer, Read2Succeed reading mentoring program for elementary school children; member of Holy Family Catholic Church; established the Operation Santa program; established the Fully Involved program; former member of the Development Review Committee; former secretary of the Ocoee Police/Fire Pension Board
MARC A. PRICE AGE: 51 FAMILY: Spouse, Dawn Owen Price, of 24 years PROFESSION: Writer, published author, speaker, entrepreneur OCOEERESIDENT: 13-and-one-half years BIRTHPLACE: Columbus, Ohio COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Member, West Orange Chamber of Commerce (winner of 2013 Rising Star Award); YMCA volunteer, instructor and fundraiser; philanthropist
RONNEY OLIVEIRA AGE: 43 FAMILY: Father of four PROFESSION: Founder of Total Brick Pavers, pastor OCOEERESIDENT: Since 2002 BIRTHPLACE: Brazil COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Co-chair of the Latin American Advisory Committee of Orange County Policy Department; co-chair of the Hispanic Civic Alliance in Florida; counsel representative of Brazilians Abroad