One race not getting a lot of attention is Orange County Commission District 6. Victoria Siplin, the current representative on the commission for the district, filed to run for re-election last year but recently started to kick her campaign into high gear.
Siplin raised an impressive $16,000 in January, over $5,000 in February, and has just over $50,000 for her re-election campaign. Her opponent, Robin Harris, raised $645 in January and loaned her campaign $2,830. She added $505 in February.
Harris isn’t a serious challenger to Siplin in terms of money but is likely hoping to bring light to issues that the commissioner isn’t standing behind. Part of her platform includes bail reform and reparations for Black Americans. Both issues aren’t likely to gain much traction on the commission as the board skews conservative, but not only that, the commission can’t do anything about reparations.
Siplin has been a strong advocate for Pine Hills as she’s worked to find ways to lower crime in the area and is helping to bring a new cultural center to the community. She’s also advocated for an extension of TPS (Temporary Protected Status) for Haitians.
She’s made allies on the board since arriving. During District 1 Commissioner Betsy VanderLey’s campaign to replace Scott Boyd on the commission, Siplin endorsed VanderLey. Problem with that endorsement for Siplin is that she’s a Democrat and VanderLey is a Republican. Drawing the ire of local party members, Siplin didn’t blink and stood by her decision.
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs has collaborated with Siplin on a few projects, and both women seem to get along fine considering their party affiliations.
As it stands, Harris doesn’t have a strong chance of beating Siplin. The commissioner has enough money to cruise to re-election and hasn’t made many waves over the past four years.
Harris’ best chance is to move to the left of Siplin and campaign on issues that the board can actually change.