Samuel Ings throws his hat in the ring for the next mayor of Orlando
A better Orlando for everyone
Samuel Ings was born and raised in Orlando, served on the City Commission for 13 years and retired from the Orlando Police Department as a captain after 30 years on the force. He says that his community is what makes him want to stay in Orlando.
"It's about the people, Ings said. "That's what keeps me here in Orlando. That's what keeps me running for mayor of the city of Orlando because a better Orlando for everyone is my promise. And I am so enthused about Orlando that I'm very passionate about Orlando, and I want Orlando to be the very best that it can be."
As for what a better Orlando for everyone could look like, at least when it comes to downtown, Ings said vibrancy, a place where there is something for everyone and everyone is welcomed.
“We need to start over because we need to have downtown Orlando like it was with Church Street Station during the time of Bob snow," Ings said.
Bob Snow was an entrepreneur and the mastermind behind Church Street Station in downtown Orlando — the heart of the area's nightlife.
Ings stresses that while downtown is important, public safety is paramount across the city.
"I want people to feel safe," Ings said. "And I want people to know that they are in great hands."
He holds up a flier celebrating the life of Patriza Deterville. She was killed in a drive-by shooting earlier this year. He said her story highlights the need for improved public safety.
"The city has been faced with violence in our communities, and especially within our black communities, there needs to be a lot of attention to public service police officers protecting police officers, building relationships with the community, police officers trusting the community, that community trusting police officers," Ings said.
When it comes to economic opportunities, Ings said Dyer has focused too much on tourism and economic gain rather than on the needs of residents. Still, Ings said the lack of economic development in Orlando’s Black and Hispanic communities are one of the biggest problems he sees.
"They are not getting the opportunities to gain wealth, and to help their businesses to grow and their communities to grow, Ings said. "Those things are not happening."
Ings said one of his best qualities is the love he has for people and his ability to keep calm in intense situations. Orlando Resident and Ings supporter, Barbara Vance, believes that someone like Ings is needed for the city.
“Our city needs a law-and-order mayor who cares about solving problems. He's got a lot of experience in the law-and-order side," Vance said. "That's what he did before he was commissioner, and this is what we need right now. We have big problems here in the city. So, we need someone who's going to take care of it, and calmly, and that's our man."
Why run again?
Before this current race, Ings first challenged Dyer for mayor back in 2003 and again in 2019 receiving 17.5 percent of the vote.
While Dyer is the frontrunner, having challengers is a good thing, according to University of Central Florida Political Scientist Aubrey Jewett.
"They feel like hey, I don't know if I can win, but I do feel like I should be on the ballot and I should be able to express myself and again, give voters a choice and again, just from a neutral political science standpoint, that's a good thing," Jewett said. "I mean, this is the way we let the public express their views about the direction of the city."
Ings says he’s determined to win this election, not for himself, but for the people around him. He said his greatest asset is the fact that he cares about the people of this city.