By Reggie Connell, Managing Editor
The special election for Apopka City Commission Seat #3 is about to get a big dose of clarity this Friday at noon. The qualifying period begins today (Monday, June 13) at noon and ends Friday, June 17 at noon. Then, and only then, will we know where this election stands.
Commissioner Doug Bankson surprised the City Council at its February 16 meeting when he announced that he would be vacating seat #3 and running for Florida House District 39. But the roller coaster didn’t end there.
At first, it was believed that the special election for seat #3 would coincide with the statewide general election on November 8. It was then later changed to be on the ballot for the August 23 primary, with a November 8 runoff if necessary.
On May 6, The Apopka Voice reported that three candidates announced their intention to run: Wes Dumey, Lynetta Johnson, and Eric Mock. Former commissioner and mayoral candidate Kyle Becker then announced that he would not be running in the #3 Seat election.
But then on May 25, Becker made the surprise announcement that he would be running for Seat #3.
“My continued desire to help shape Apopka’s future far outweighs the outcome of my recent mayoral campaign,” Becker said in a statement to Apopka’s voice. “I am very proud of my service for the past 6 years as Commissioner of Seat 4, and I am excited to announce my intention to run in the upcoming Apopka special election so I can continue in that service as Commissioner of Seat 3.”
Dumey, who ran in the election for Seat #2 in March, said Apopka’s voice he will make his final decision later in the week.
“I’m going to see how things play out this week, so if I decide to qualify, it will be towards the end of the week,” he said. “Obviously, it’s different to compete against a former commissioner (Becker) who’s back in the race than it is to do it strictly based on ideas and visions for the city. I’m very comfortable with the progress I’ve made with the community and the vision that I’ve articulated. for the future. Let’s see what happens, as I’d like to be a part of moving Apopka forward.”
Johnson, who is a first-time candidate for office in Apopka, has confirmed that she will run for office and qualify this week.
“I’m running for city commissioner, seat #3, because I live here in Apopka,” Johnson said. “I am a homeowner, father and grandfather. I want this city to continue to be an amazing place to raise a family and I want current businesses to thrive, as well as welcome new businesses that will contribute to the City of Apopka and our citizens.” I would like to see ONE Apopka, as well as strategically targeting the technology industries and business sectors to thrive in Apopka and create new job opportunities.”
Mock, who ran in the election for Seat #4 in March, saidApopka’s voice on June 5 that he would not participate in the special election.
And although these are the only candidates to announce their intentions, a surprise or two during qualifying week is not ruled out. In 2018, Alice Nolan did not make any announcements before, but qualified and ultimately won the #2 pick in 2018. In 2022, both Dumey and Mock qualified in the last two days to run for the #3 and #4, respectively, despite no prior announcement. .
Early voting for the August 23 election is August 8-21 at the VFW/Apopka Community Center. If there is a runoff election on November 8, early voting will be from October 24 to November 6, also at the VFW/Apopka Community Center.
You must be registered with the Orange County Supervisor of Elections by July 25 in order to vote in the special election.