After over 20 years on the Seminole County Commission, District 4 Commissioner Carlton Henley may have inadvertently announced that he was ready to move on in the near future.
The remarks came during a proclamation and presentation honoring Women’s History Month in Seminole County. After Commissioner Brenda Carey read the proclamation and was prepared to make the presentation to Seminole County School Board Chair, Amy Lockhart, and all of the other women in the chamber, the Commissioner’s microphones were left on.
While the photograph was being taken, Henley and District 3 Commissioner Lee Constantine began to converse and laugh. At one point in the conversation Constantine goes “Yeah, my mother is 85.”
Henley responds “Yeah, I’m 84 and I’m ready to hit the road. I’m tired of all this.”
Constantine continues, saying “Yeah, I heard you went out with Joey and he was real respectful.”
Longwood Mayor Joe Durso, who is a regular mention in discussions for higher office. He’s also currently the only candidate to have filed to run in District 4 in 2018, indicating that Henley is not planning on seeking reelection.
The speculation that Henley could be leaving the Seminole Commission is not new, he was first appointed to the Commission in 1994 and reelected subsequently, but it’s the first time he’s mentioned leaving around a media presence.
There is also still over a year to go until qualification and there has been further talk that Henley could be prepared to leave office before then, which would set off a scramble among a crowded and “talent heavy” pool of local leaders in a county with only about a dozen elected positions which can lead to major opportunities in Tallahassee or Washington.
Calls and emails to Henley’s office were received and cooperative but no comments were offered before publication. OPO will update this article with any remarks.