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Your Central Florida Primary Election Results: Congressional, Legislative and Local Races

Photo: Element 5 Digital @element5digital

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Two Lake County commissioners rejected by voters

Two Lake County commissioners lost their seats Tuesday.

Timothy Sullivan lost the District 1 seat to Douglas Shields in a Republican primary open to all county voters. Shields, a Clermont resident concerned about uncontrolled growth and the environment, received 55 percent of the vote.

Weedy Breeden lost the District 3 seat to Kirby Smith. The primary was closed to non-Republican voters because two write-in candidates have qualified. But they will not appear on the Nov. 3 ballot.

Smith, a businessman and former mayor of Tavares, received 59 percent of the votes.

In District 5, incumbent Josh Blake won the Republican primary with 54 percent over Todd Luce. Blake will face Gabriel Aaron Ruiz, an independent candidate, on the November ballot.

Mina wins re-election

Incumbent John Mina won the Democratic primary for Orange County Sheriff in Tuesday night’s election. Mina defeated four other challengers. 

He now faces two write-in candidates in the November general election. He says he wants to focus his next term on reducing youth arrests. 

“So the policies that we are putting in place, in consultation with the state attorney;s office and chief judge will help drive down our arrest numbers even more, so that’s something we’re going to continue to work on,” said Mina

He says he also wants to focus on easing community tension after the George Floyd protests, taking recommendations from a citizen advisory board and continuing de-escalation training with his deputies. 

“We’re going to continue as a law enforcement agency to do our part and engage in our community to do our part and see how we can improve.” 

Previously, Mina served as Orlando Police Chief before running for Sheriff, replacing now County Mayor Jerry Demings. 

Criminal justice reform advocate wins primary for Orange-Osceola State Attorney

Attorney and criminal justice reform advocate Monique Worrell has won the democratic primary for Orange-Osceola State Attorney. 

Worrell garnered more than 42 percent of the vote, defeating three other primary challengers. She faces an independent candidate in the general election. 

She campaigned on reducing incarceration, bail reform and a commitment to ensuring police accountability. 

Former Chief Justice and Casey Anthony judge Belvin Perry Junior finished second, down more than ten points to Worrell. 

Assistant State Attorney Deborah Barra and prosecutor Ryan Williams finished third and fourth. 

The four democrats were all vying for the 9th district’s chief prosecutor’s spot after Aramis Ayala announced her resignation — citing her continued opposition to the death penalty. 

Worrell, along with Barra and Williams, worked under Ayala at some point during her tenure as State Attorney. 

Singh ousted in property appraiser’s race

Former state legislator Amy Mercado has ousted incumbent Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh in the Democratic primary — garnering 60 percent of the vote. 

Singh’s office was investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for alleged misconduct, but prosecutors said in July there wasn’t enough evidence to file charges. 

Mercado served two terms in the Florida House, and is the Director of Operations for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Mango Board.

She faces two write-in candidates in the November general election. 

Uribe, Bonilla hold on, while Vanderley ousted in Orange County Commissioner’s race

In Orange County, commissioners Maya Uribe and Emily Bonilla (bon-EE-ya) held onto their seats in Districts three and five respectively in last night’s primary election.

Uribe beat former County Commissioner Pete Clark and retired police officer Bill Moore to win her race. 

Emily Bonilla’s challengers included former state Rep. Mike Miller.

Betsy Vanderley was defeated in an upset by challenger Nicole Wilson in the race for District one. 

Wilson, an environmental attorney, ran on a platform that included a promise to address unchecked development in the county. 

Former Osceola County Commissioner Fred Hawkins wins primary

Former commissioner Fred Hawkins won the Republican primary in Florida House District 42. 

Hawkins was suspended from the Osceola County commission by Governor Ron DeSantis this month after he was charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer. 

Meanwhile, Osceola County school board member Kelvin Soto beat incumbent Clerk of Courts Armando Ramirez. 

Kissimmee Mayor Jose Alvarez was unsuccessful in his attempt to unseat County Commissioner Peggy Choudhry.

And Sheriff Russ Gibson was defeated in the Democratic primary by former Deputy Marco Lopez, who Gibson fired in 2019 for disloyalty after Lopez filed to run against him. 

Lopez will run against Luis Fernandez in November. 

10:15 p.m. update District 6 Congressional race called

Danielle Prieur, WMFE

Orange County attorney Clint Curtis beat out Daytona Beach College instructor Richard Thripp in the primary race for U.S. House District 6. 

Curtis practices law in Orlando, specializing in government corruption, veterans and social security disability law. 

He was featured in WMFE’s series on the toxic workplace culture at Orlando International Airport’s TSA.

He earned 51.5 percent of the vote. 

Curtis who is a Democrat will face off against Republican Rep. Mike Waltz in the general election. 

Three Sumter County commissioners lose seats after tax hike

Joe Byrnes, WMFE

Three Sumter County commissioners lost their seats Tuesday, less than a year after approving a hefty property tax increase.

Al Butler, Don Burgess and Stephen Printz each reported contributions of nearly $80,000 — 10 times more than their challengers had.

But that didn’t matter.

Sumter County voters — mostly residents of The Villages — sent them packing.

The fellow Republicans who beat them are Gary Search for District 1, Craig Estep for District 3 and Oren Miller for District 5.

Search faces Larry Green, an independent, in the general election. Estep and Miller face write-in candidates, who won’t be on the ballot.

Correction: An earlier version of this item omitted Search’s independent opponent Larry Green.

A roundup of school board races

Joe Byrnes, WMFE

In Central Florida’s nonpartisan School Board races, most incumbents fared well, though a couple lost their seats and some will be in runoffs come November 3rd.

Orange

In Orange County, incumbent Pam Gould received 48 percent of the vote. She will face Prince Brown in a run-off for the District 4 seat. He got 32 percent.

In District 5, Vicki-Elaine Felder and Bruce H. Antone are also headed to a runoff. She received 40 percent. Antone had 32 percent and Michael Scott, 28 percent.

Incumbents Karen Castor Dentel and Melissa Mitchell Byrd won re-election outright. Dentel claimed 72 percent of the vote over Jonathan Hacker. Mitchell Byrd received 57 percent in a three-person race.

Brevard

In Brevard County, Jennifer Jenkins unseated Tina Descovich in District 3. Jenkins received about 54 percent of the vote.

Matt Susin won by a landslide in District 4.

Polk

In Polk County, William Allen unseated Billy Townsend for District 1. Allen received 52 percent of the vote.

District 2 incumbent Lori Cunningham won re-election with 57 percent over Anita Carson.

Seminole

In Seminole County, Abby Sanchez won re-election with about 63 percent of the vote, defeating Veronica King for the District 3 seat.

Volusia

In Volusia County, Anita Burnette is in a runoff with incumbent School Board member Ida Duncan Wright. Burnette received 48 of the vote, and Duncan Wright claimed 39 percent in the three-way race for District 2. 

Osceola

For the Osceola County School Board, Jon Arguello won the District 3 seat with 52 percent of the vote.

Robert L. Bass won District 5 with 67 percent. And Julius Melendez is in a run-off with Kerly Santos for District 2. Melendez got 47 percent of the vote and Santos received 28 percent in a three-person race. 

Marion

One School Board race was contested in Marion County. And that, too, will head to a runoff.

Lori Conrad received 41 percent of the vote and Allison Campbell received 36 percent in a three-person race for District 1.

9 p.m. update Most Central Florida Congressional races called

Danielle Prieur, WMFE

District 7

Physician Dr. Leo Valentin beat out fellow challengers Richard Goble and Yukong Zhao in the Republican primary race for U.S. House District 7. 

Valentin grew up in Puerto Rico and runs a radiology practice in Orlando. 

He won with 38.6 percent of the vote. 

Valentin will face off against Democrat Rep. Stephanie Murphy in the general election.

District 8

Republican Representative Bill Posey beat out 30 year United States Air Force veteran Scott Caine in the primary for U.S. House District 8. 

Posey earned 62.7 percent of the vote.

He’ll face Democrat Jim Kennedy in November.   

If he wins, it will be Posey’s seventh term in the U.S. House. He was first elected in 2008. 

Posey serves on the Financial Services Committee and the Committee on Science, Space and Technology which includes subcommittees on Space and Oversight.

District 9

Combat veteran Bill Olson beat challengers Christopher Wright, Jose Castillo, and Sergio Ortiz in the Republican primary race for U.S. House District 9. 

Olson served 27 years in the US Army before he retired as a Sergeant first class. After retiring, he went to work at Disney. 

He won 48.7 percent of the vote.

Olson who is Republican will face off against Democrat Congressman Darren Soto in the general election.

District 10

Attorney Vennia Francois beat nonprofit founder Willie Montague in the Republican primary race for U.S. House District 10.

Francois is a first generation American who interned with U.S. Rep. John Mica before working as Sen. Mel Martinez and Sen. George LeMieux’s policy advisor.

She won with 65 percent of the vote.

Francois will face off against Democrat Rep. Val Demings in the general election.

8:30 p.m. update: Monique Worrell leads Belvin Perry in Orange-Osceola State Attorney’s Race

Brendan Byrne, WMFE

In the race for Orange-Osceola state attorney, criminal justice reform advocate Monique Worrell holds a 12 point lead over former chief judge Belvin Perry, Jr. with 95% of precincts reporting.

Two others, assistant state attorney Deborah Bara and prosecutor Ryan Willams are also in the primary, which will replace outgoing State Attorney Aramis Ayala. 

8:00 p.m. update: Incumbents in Seminole County Commission hold off challengers

Matthew Peddie, WMFE

With 95% of precincts reporting in Seminole County, incumbent county commissioners Bob Dallari and Lee Constantine appear to have held off their challengers in the Republican primary. 

Dallari has over 60% of the vote to Longwood Mayor Matt Morgan’s 39% of the vote in the race for the district one seat. 

Constantine has 66% of the vote in district 3, with Ben Paris securing 33% of the vote. 

And in the Republican primary to replace tax collector Joel Greenberg, who stepped down after facing federal indictment of stalking and identity theft, Jeff “J R” Kroll is leading Brian Beute. 

7:30 p.m. update: Mina secures lead in sheriff’s race

Brendan Byrne, WMFE

With 95% of precincts reporting, incumbent John Mina appears set to win the Democratic primary for Orange County Sheriff. Mina has secured more than 59% of the vote, Mina holding off 4 other primary challengers. 

Previously, Mina served as Orlando Police Chief before running for Sheriff, replacing now County Mayor Jerry Demings. 

Mina faces two write-in candidates in the November general election.

Mercado leads Singh for property appraiser

Former state legislator Amy Mercado appears poised to oust incumbent Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh in the Democratic primary. 

Singh’s office was investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for alleged misconduct, but prosecutors said in July there wasn’t enough evidence to file charges. 

Mercado served two terms in the Florida House, and is the Director of Operations for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Mango Board.

She’ll face two write-in candidates in the November general election.

Polls close in Primary

Polls have closed in Central Florida in a primary election overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic. 

The protests that swept the country after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police have put the spotlight on law enforcement, with renewed interest in races for sheriff and state attorney. 

In Orange County, sheriff John Mina faces six opponents in the Democratic primary. And the race to replace outgoing Orange and Osceola County state attorney Aramis Ayala features five candidates including assistant state attorney Deborah Barra and former chief judge Belvin Perry. 

In congressional races in Districts 7, 9 and 10, Republicans are vying for a chance to take on the Democratic incumbents. 

With the return to school during the pandemic top of mind for many voters, there’s also keen interest in school board races across Central Florida. 

And there are also closely contested county races. In Seminole County, former professional Wrestler and Longwood Mayor Matt Morgan is taking on long serving commissioner Bob Dallari in the Republican primary. 

Click here for a list of races and results.


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