As the District 1 Orange County Commissioner race heats up, three diverse candidates prepare for a challenging primary election, signaling a competitive political showdown. The non-partisan nature of this race means candidates don’t represent political parties, leading to a unique primary election dynamic where all candidates compete together, with the top two advancing to the general election, unless a candidate secures over 50% of votes. If a candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in the Primary, they win the election outright without having to proceed to the General.
Current Commissioner Nicole Wilson filed to seek a second term as Commissioner. She won the election outright in the 2020 Primary Election, receiving 57% of the vote against incumbent Betsy VanderLey and write-in candidate Hannah Burns. According to the Orlando Sentinel, when Hannah Burns, the stepdaughter of former District 1 Commissioner Scott Boyd, filed as a write-in candidate, it caused the election to move from the General, when it was just two candidates, to the Primary, between three candidates.
Current School Board Member Pam Gould has decided to make a run for County Commissioner after 11 years on the School Board. School Board seats are also nonpartisan, and Pam Gould won re-election in 2020 with 59% of the vote against Prince Brown.
Winter Garden businessman Austin Arthur was the first person to file their candidacy for County Commission, filing in February 2023. Austin Arthur is the co-founder of Gymnastics USA in Winter Garden, runs Stars and Stripes Management Systems, and former host of the West Orange On The Go podcast.
For more information on each candidate, visit their campaign websites:
HorizonWestInfo.com will continue to cover the upcoming election. New residents to the area can register to vote at registertovoteflorida.com.
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