Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph wants to see a Democrat win the race to be the next Mayor of Orange County in 2018, and he thinks Sheriff Jerry Demings is the strongest choice.
“I’ve always said my number one concern is making sure the Democrats have a strong candidate for Mayor in 2018.” said Randolph, himself a former chair of the County Democratic Party “I think Jerry Demings is the strongest candidate we can field and I think he would make a great Mayor.”
Demings recently won a third term as Sheriff and is married to former Orlando Police Chief, now Congresswoman, Val Demings.
Randolph also acknowledges Property Appraiser Rick Singh is a strong choice and also wouldn’t rule out a run by himself next year to succeed termed out incumbent Teresa Jacobs.
All three potential candidates meet important requirements including high name ID, experience running county wide races, and the ability to fundraise for a race that could potentially cost several hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Republican contenders are also lining up; those reportedly considering a run including Orange County School Board Chair, Bill Sublette, former State Senator Andy Gardiner and former Mayor Rich Crotty.
The race for Mayor will draw interest from both parties with control of the commission potentially at stake. Democrats are currently only down 5-2 and expected to retain the District 6 seat currently held by Victoria Siplin, while competing for the District 4 seat held by Jennifer Thompson, who has also reached term limits.
The races are non-partisan but with Democrats leading in voter registration, there will be more efforts to tie the candidates to their respective parties to gain an advantage.
“This County Mayor seat is the last bastion for Republicans, which is really why Democrats need to pay attention to it.” Randolph adds “If you can cut off that Mayor seat, Democrats will control this county once and for all”