ORANGE COUNTY – Bill Sublette, chairman of the Orange County School Board and one of the more well-known candidates for the seat of Orange County mayor, dropped out of the race in late January.
Sublette made his announcement via a press release, stating he would be suspending his campaign, but did not point to one particular reason for doing so.
“It is with mixed emotions that I announce the suspension of my campaign for Orange County Mayor,” Sublette said in the release. “There is no single reason I can point to that explains my decision. I considered many factors and simply came to the conclusion that now is not the right time to continue my campaign.”
Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, Orange County Commissioner Pete Clarke, Winter Park businessman Rob Panepinto, Jose Colom and Robert Melanson are still in the race. Any prospective candidates have until June 22 to file and qualify for inclusion.
“I entered this race focused on my vision for Orange County of providing meaningful job opportunities for our citizens – especially our working poor, providing better protection for those most vulnerable in our community, including children, building a stronger, functional public transportation network, tackling the root causes of multi-generational poverty, preserving our County’s natural resources, and ensuring the safety of our citizens,” Sublette added. “I still believe my priorities are important to the future of our county, and I intend to continue advocating for these issues as a private citizen.”
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs is unable to run again after having reached the eight-year term-limit. The election for her seat is scheduled to take place Aug. 28. If a candidate fails to win 50 percent of the vote, a runoff will be held Nov. 6.