West Orange Chamber to host hob nob, straw poll

The West Orange Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for its biennial Hob Nob and Straw Poll.

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  • | 9:59 a.m. August 2, 2018
  • West Orange Times & Observer
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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 

Val Demings     

State Representative, District 44 

Margaret Melanie Gold

Geraldine Thompson      

Attorney General of Florida  

Ashley Moody

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services 

Matt Caldwell

Denise Grimsley

Orange County Mayor  

Pete Clarke

Jerry Demings

Rob Panepinto

Orange County Sheriff 

Jose "Joe" Lopez

John Mina

Orange County Commission, District 2 

Mark Allen Byrd

Christine Moore

Orange County Commission, District 3 

Pete Crotty

Bobby Lance

Eric Rollings

Mayra Uribe

Orange County Commission, District 4 

Susan Makowski

Orange County School Board Chair   

Matthew Fitzpatrick

Teresa Jacobs

Nancy Robbinson

Orange County School Board, District 1 

Angie Gallo

Orange County School Board, District 2 

Chadwick Hardee

Orange County School Board, District 3 

Linda Kobert

Orange County School Board, District 7 

Chan-Denise Budhoo

Melissa Mitchell Byrd

Eric Schwalbach

Ninth Judicial Circuit Judge, Group 15 

Jeffrey Lee Ashton

Howard D. Friedman

Ninth Judicial Circuit Judge, Group 26 

Tom Young

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 

Kenneth Dwyer

Soil and Water, District 4  

Derek Ryan


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