Orange County Commissioner Bryan Nelson officially kicked of his Apopka Mayor campaign on Sunday afternoon, surrounded by friends and family just across the street from City Hall, where he hopes the voters will send him next year to lead the second biggest city in the County.
The event was held at the Catfish place where Nelson announced hid bid earlier this month, and in the same community where multiple generations of his family have called home and in the same region he represented for several years in the state legislature.
Nelson says restoring civility to the office and bring the community together to move forward will be a central message of his campaign.
“You can’t always agree with everybody but you can handle yourself with civility, because we need this community back together.” said Nelson “We’ve got so many opportunities but only one chance to get those opportunities right.”
The Commissioner will challenge incumbent Mayor Joe Kilsheimer, who defeated longtime Mayor John Land in 2014 and was previously the Mayor of the Apopka for over six decades. The race is expected to revolve around how the area should continue to grow and will be one of the early high profile contests of the 2018 mid term election cycle.
It also won’t be the only competitive local race Apopka will see next year with candidates expected to line up to succeed Nelson on the commission in the district 2 seat.
Nelson and his supporters are ready to go after Sunday’s celebration.
“It’s not just about being in a coat and tie. I’ve got my work jeans on too.” he adds “It’s about getting the local community involved. People have been asking me to run for years and I’m ready for the challenge.”