Latinas Make Major Strides For Orange County Political Office

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Latinas made major strides in winning seats for political office during the 2018 Orange County general election. Orange County voters elected and re-elected five Latinas to public office to serve as state representative, conservation supervisor, county commissioner and school board member. Incumbent Conservation Supervisor Daisy Morales is the county’s top vote winner with 256,342 votes, (64%) among the elected Latina candidates.



The Honorable Daisy Morales
Orange Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor (Re-elected)

In her bid for re-election, Orange County voters delivered a massive landslide victory for incumbent Supervisor Daisy Morales, who currently serves as the Board Vice Chair of the Orange County Soil & Water Conservation District. She will retain her seat on the five-member Board of Supervisors for another four-year term. In addition, Morales will become the new Board Chair upon Chairman Eric Rollings’ December 4th resignation.

Supervisor Morales received an overwhelming 256,116 supermajority of Orange County County’s 479,012 votes cast (63.96%) to defeat opponent Sean McQuade, who received 144,285 votes (36.04%), according to the Orange County Supervisor of Elections website. After a mandatory machine recount, Morales gained 226 votes.

Morales campaigned on community outreach and environmental justice for communities of color, seniors, youth and people with disabilities.

As a state elected official, Morales must be sworn in on or before January 6, 2019.

About Daisy Morales

Daisy Morales of Puerto Rican descent and was born and raised in the Bronx, New York.

Supervisor Morales is a 30-year resident of the Lake Pickett community in east Orange County. She retired from the U.S. Government after 23 years of service working for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of State. She earned an Associate Degree in Criminology and Administration from Puerto Rico Junior College. She’s a military mother and was a caretaker for her adult sister, who had special needs.

Since taking office, Supervisor Morales has made significant progress on educating local elected officials, government agencies, public schools, community groups and landowners about the role and function of a Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor, Board members and the District as a state agency.

Supervisor Morales is the only Spanish-speaking Board member. She focuses on communities of color, the Spanish-speaking population, seniors and youth to make sure they are not left behind on obtaining information, resources and grants on conservation issues. 


  • Member of Florida Urban Forestry Council
  • Member of Orange County Disability Board
  • Member of League of Women Voters of Orange County
  • Community Ambassador for Orange County Elder Ambassadors
  • Advisor for Orange County 4H (Youth Programs)
  • Advisor for Orange Technical College’s School Advisory Council
  • Former Advisor for Orange County Farmworker Jobs & Education Program
  • Former Member of Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida
  • Former Member of County Watch
  • Former Chair of Florida Civil Rights Association’s Hispanic Affairs Committee
  • Former Peer Educator for Hispanic Health Initiative
  • Ordained Chaplain by Christian Star – (Estrella Cristiana) Chaplain Ministries



The Honorable Amy Mercado
District 48 State Representative (Re-elected)

Amy Mercado: 37,279 (73.38%) votes to George Chandler 13,525 (26.62%) votes

About Amy Mercado

Amy Mercado is a working mom of 6, former healthcare worker and caretaker to ailing grandparents. She is of Puerto Rican descent and hails from the Bronx, New York. Florida State Senator Victor “Vic” Torres, a former New York City Transit Police Detective, is her father.

Community Leadership:

  • Field Manager for Tiffany Moore Russell for Orange County Clerk of Court
  • Campaign Manager for Ricardo Rangel, House District 43
  • Campaign Manager for Victor M. Torres, House District 48
  • Florida Elector for President Barack Obama
  • Former Chairwoman of the Orange County DEC
  • Former President of the Orange County Democratic Hispanic Caucus
  • Former Interim Secretary of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement’s Central Florida Chapter
  • Former Secretary of the Florida Council of the League of United Latin American Citizens
  • Former Board Member of Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando
  • Former Democratic Candidate for Florida House District 35 vs. Speaker of Florida House Dean Cannon


  • Society of Human Resource Management
  • Greater Orlando Society for Human Resource Management
  • Florida Voters League
  • Former Member of the Hispanic Chamber of Metro Orlando



The Honorable Mayra Uribe
Orange County District 3 Commissioner-Elect

Mayra Uribe: 40,021 (57.15%) votes to Pete Crotty’s 30,001 (42%85%) votes

About Mayra Uribe

Mayra Uribe is a former aide to U.S. Senator Bill Nelson and well-known advocate for her community through her work for charities and nonprofits. She previously ran for District 4.

When Pete Clarke, then District 3 Commissioner, vacated his seat to run for Orange County Mayor, Uribe saw an opportunity to represent and serve District 3 in county government. She is a lifelong resident of Orange County and grew up in District 3.

Uribe draws on her more than six years of experience working for Sen. Nelson in his Orlando office, where her main priorities were immigration, transportation, military, FEMA, and labor issues.

For the last five years, Mayra has worked with nonprofits (Healthy Start, Bootcamp for New Dads) as well as raised awareness for Central Florida’s homeless children and families through various campaigns and efforts to strengthen the people and improve the lives of those in her community.

Uribe is married to local radio show host Kevin Sutton. Their daughter Faith is 14 years old and their son Lincoln was born in May of this year.



The Honorable Maribel Gomez Cordera
Orange County District 4 Commissioner-Elect

Maribel Gomez Cordero: 37,723 (50.12%) votes to Susan Makowski 37,547 (49.88%)

About Maribel Cordero

Maribel Gomez Cordero was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She has been living in Orange County for the past twenty years. She is a mother of three and earned a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling specializing in Marriage and Family from Webster University.

Throughout her career as a Social Worker, Cordero has worked for Children’s Home Society/Department of Children and Families, and as a Clinical Psychotherapist at Life and Work Solutions Counseling. Cordero dedicated herself to work for those who experience crisis, and provides support to individuals, families and groups within the community. She was recognized in 2002 by the Educational Foundation for the Advancement of Child Welfare with the “A Person That Makes A Difference” Award from the Florida Coalition for Children of Central Florida.

Cordero has been active in the county by participating as board member on various advisory boards in Orange County government, for example, the Charter Review Commission, and the Community Action and Advisory Board. She is also a board member for WE Hispanic Women Chamber of Commerce, and advisor for Nuevo Sendero Domestic Violence Program.

Cordero has served the community through her church; counseling, food and clothing drives to the homeless, and referrals for resources in the community for people in need. As a small business entrepreneur, Maribel manages her private practice in psychotherapy.



The Honorable Johanna Lopez
Orange County Public Schools Board Member

Johanna Lopez: 40,104 (60.77%) votes to David Grimm 25,885 (39.23) votes

About Johanna Lopez

Johanna López was born in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, to a war veteran and a stay-at-home mom. There, she earned her Bachelors of Arts in Hispanic Studies from the University of Puerto Rico and, later, a Master of Arts in Higher Education from the Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico.

In 1998, Lopez relocated to Orlando, where she first worked at a car wash and then at a fast food restaurant. After volunteering and serving as a substitute teacher at Colonial High School, she became a full-time Spanish teacher in 1999.

As Colonial’s AP Spanish Language and AP Spanish Literature teacher, Lopez and her students have achieved perfect passing rates on AP exams over the past decade.

At Colonial High School, Lopez has been an active participant in different extracurricular activities. She has served as both the girls’ varsity volleyball coach and Hispanic Honor Society sponsor. Through both positions, she has encouraged her students to serve the community. In 2015, Lopez’s Hispanic Honor Society held a massive voter registration drive, where more than 500 students registered to vote. Currently, she is the sponsor of Latinos in Action, an organization that seeks to empower young Latino students to become the nation’s future leaders.

When the mother of four experienced how difficult it was to navigate the public school system as a parent, she founded Familias Presentes: Estudiantes Excelentes, an online forum directed to making parents aware of different educational issues and opportunities. As a member of the Orange County Classroom Teachers Association (CTA) and Maestros Puertorriqueños en Acción, she has advocated for the expansion of teachers’ benefits.

She is also a member of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Teacher Advisory Council and served as a member of the OCPS Calendar Committee, the OCPS Foundation, Leadership Orange, and the Superintendent’s Public Education Leadership Project at Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Due to her leadership inside and outside of the classroom, Lopez has been recognized at the local, state, and national levels. In 2016, she became the first Latina to win the Teacher of the Year award from Orange County Public Schools. In that role, she was recognized as one of five recipients of the Governor’s Shine Award for Inspirational Teachers. At a national level, Lopez has been awarded the Queen Smith Award for Commitment to Urban Public Education and the Life Changer of the Year award.

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