Miss America 2004 Ericka Dunlap is Running for Orlando City Commission

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – On Tuesday, December 6, 2016, Miss America 2004 Ericka Dunlap filed paperwork with Orlando City Clerk’s Office to run for the coveted District 5 seat currently held by incumbent Orlando City Commissioner Regina Hill.

Ericka Dunlap’s Statement of Candidate and Appointment of Campaign Treasurer

Orlando native Dunlap, 34, was the first African American woman to be crowned Miss Florida and rose to national acclaim when she was crowned Miss America 2004. She was a contestant on season 15 of “The Amazing Race,” finishing third place, and is a graduate of the University of Central Florida (UCF).

She is also the founder of the Crown Jewel Foundation, an organization that invests in the lives of young women and encourages them to strive for excellence and overcome obstacles in achieving their goals. “I was born in District 5, and currently live here,” Dunlap told FNN News in an exclusive interview as to why she chose to run for the seat. “I’m concerned about where it’s going, and I want to preserve the quality of life of the people who live here.”


Former Miss Americas Turned Politicians

Dunlap is among several former Miss Americas who tossed their tiaras into the political ring. Miss America 1944 Venus Ramey was the first Miss America to run for public office, according to the Miss America Organization’s website. In addition, Miss America 2003 Erika Harold ran twice for Illinois’s 13th congressional district unsuccessfully.

Dunlap won the Miss America crown on a platform of “United We Stand, Divided We Fall Behind: Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion.”

Miss America 1944 Venus Ramey    erika1

Miss America 1944 Venus Ramey (left) and Miss America 2003 Erika Harold


Dunlap’s Reach

Dunlap’s high profile and following could potentially bring national media attention to the Orlando City Commission election from the likes of Inside Edition, E!, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, and others, which will greatly benefit the Commission’s ambitious vision to increase Downtown Orlando’s imprint as the premier sports and entertainment destination for the U.S. In Mayor Buddy Dyer’s 2016 State of the Downtown Address, he detailed the Commission’s plans to create a sports corridor that will run from the Amway Center, to the soccer stadium, which will be completed early 2017, to Camping World Stadium. All of these venues are in District 5, which is what makes it such a highly contested seat, not to mention the prestigious Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center.

Dunlap speaks with FNN NEWS at 2017 Miss America Pageant

Dunlap has not slowed down. She made sure to support her “sisters” at the 2017 Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City and was also present for the 2016 Florida Blue Florida Classic festivities at Camping World Stadium in November.

Dunlap spoke to FNN NEWS about the 2017 election

When FNN News asked Dunlap what her first project would be if elected, she provided an honest assessment, hearkening back to her Miss America experience. “I knew I would be good for Miss America, but had no idea what it really entailed until I was in it.” In the same way, she is currently “working on a variety of projects that will qualify me before I step into the [District 5 Commissioner role],” but she noted that she will not have a clear idea until she is in the role. She exclusively told FNN News that if elected, she will do everything that she can in the parameters of the role, and added the she knows “how to build teams of people to get things done efficiently.”

Districts 1, 3, and 5 seats are up for election in November 2017, and District 5 is currently the only seat contenders have filed to run for thus far. Candidates Jibreel R. Ali and Cynthia Harris also filed paperwork to run for the seat. Incumbent District 5 Commissioner Regina Hill has not filed at this early point to run for re-election in the November 2017 general election.

Written by Editor Mellissa Thomas and Publisher Willie David, who report on local, national, and international news for Florida National News.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


National Politics

Putin, Kim to meet in Russia’s Far East on Thursday

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong…

As Sri Lanka mourns, Islamic State claims Easter bombings

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — As the death toll from the Easter bombings in Sri…

Meet Grenada's New Ambassador to the U.S.: Her Excellency Yolande Smith

WASHINGTON, D.C. (FNN NEWS) - Her Excellency Yolande Smith very recently reached a unique and…

Trump brushes off Romney’s criticism, points to loss in 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Mitt Romney says he’s “sickened” by the dishonesty the Russia investigation…


Florida Supreme Court Affirms Governor’s Authority to Suspend Scott Israel

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Today, the Florida Supreme Court issued an opinion affirming Governor Ron DeSantis’…

Governor Ron DeSantis to Speak at Press Conference in Key Biscayne with the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee Monday

MIAMI, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Governor Ron DeSantis will hold a press conference with the Miami…

[OPINION]: Central Florida’s Regressive Prosecutor

In 2016, Central Florida elected Aramis Ayala as Florida’s first African-American State Attorney. Given her…

Governor Ron DeSantis Announces the Governor’s Initiative on Lawyers Assisting Warriors (GI LAW)

Eglin AFB, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the Governor’s Initiative on Lawyers Assisting Warriors (GI LAW), an…


  • Orlando City's Luis Nani (left) duels with Vancouver's Erik Godoy for the ball at Orlando City Stadium Saturday, April 20, 2019. Photo: Willie David/Florida National News.
    ORLANDO (FNN SPORTS) - Orlando City Earns Late 1-0 Victory Over Vancouver (Photo: Willie David/Florida National News)


Orlando City Earns Late 1-0 Victory Over Vancouver

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - Source: Orlando City SC // Orlando City SC (3-3-2, 11…

Governor Ron DeSantis, Former NBA Star Tracy McGrady Sit Courtside for Game 3 of Orlando Magic Playoffs

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - Florida's 46th Governor Ron DeSantis (R),  First Lady Casey DeSantis…

Jaguars Unveil New Logo To Celebrate Team's Historic 25th Season

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Today the Jacksonville Jaguars kicked off a yearlong celebration of the…

MATCH RECAP: Pride Shutout by North Carolina Courage

ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando Pride (0-2-0, 0 points) fell to the defending National Women’s Soccer League…

Tampa Bay Buccaneers announce 2019 regular season schedule

TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 2019 regular season schedule, released today by the…

Jacksonville Jaguars unveiled 2019 preseason and regular season schedules

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Jaguars have unveiled their 2019 preseason and regular season schedules, the…


  • FILE In this May 31, 2018, file photo a customer enters the Apple store in New York. Apple on Monday, March 18, 2019, unveiled a new iPad that's thinner and slightly larger than its current entry-level tablet. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
    NEW YORK (AP) - Apple refreshes iPad lineup, with larger entry-level model. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)


Shark Tank Star Daymond John, DWTS's Lindsay Arnold, Joey Fatone to Host Runway to Hope 2019 Gala

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Runway to Hope co-founder Attorney Mark NeJame announced on Facebook Wednesday…

Bank of America Raising Hourly Minimum Wage to $20

NEW YORK (AP) — Bank of America plans to raise its starting pay to $20…

Pinterest sets sites on $1.5B in first public share offering

NEW YORK (AP) — Pinterest, among a gaggle of tech companies planning to go public…

Gone in 6 minutes: an Ethiopian Airlines jet’s final journey

From nearly the moment they roared down the runway and took off in their new…

Linda McMahon to exit role at Small Business Administration

PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The head of the Small Business Administration, Linda McMahon, is…

Facebook charged with housing discrimination by HUD

NEW YORK (AP) — The federal government charged Facebook with high-tech housing discrimination Thursday for allegedly…


  • LAS VEGAS (Billboard) - Cardi B Leads 2019 Billboard Music Awards Nominations With 21


An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Brothers sue Jussie Smollett’s lawyers, claiming defamation

CHICAGO (AP) — Two brothers who say they helped Jussie Smollett stage a racist and…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Funk Fest Orlando Brings Erykah Badu, Ginuwine, Bobby Brown and More This Weekend

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Funk Fest, the ultimate Old School R&B/Hip Hop outdoor music…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Florida Film Festival announced the 2019 Grand Jury and Audience Award Winners

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - After 10 days and over 180 films, the 2019 Florida Film…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Shark Tank Star Daymond John, DWTS's Lindsay Arnold, Joey Fatone to Host Runway to Hope 2019 Gala

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Runway to Hope co-founder Attorney Mark NeJame announced on Facebook Wednesday…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Aretha Franklin makes history with posthumous Pulitzer win

NEW YORK (AP) — Aretha Franklin is still getting R-E-S-P-E-C-T after death: The Queen of…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Trivago Hotel Website Actor Arrested in Texas on DWI Charge

HOUSTON (AP) - The actor who has become something of a sex symbol as the…



Shark Tank Star Daymond John, DWTS's Lindsay Arnold, Joey Fatone to Host Runway to Hope 2019 Gala

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Runway to Hope co-founder Attorney Mark NeJame announced on Facebook Wednesday…

Trivago Hotel Website Actor Arrested in Texas on DWI Charge

HOUSTON (AP) - The actor who has become something of a sex symbol as the…

"Unplanned" Movie Comes to Orlando, Inspired by Conservative Activist Korrie Lupino Stevenson

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - On Wednesday, March 27th, Unplanned the movie will be viewed…

Garden Rocks Concert Series Expands to Every Day of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, March 6-June 3

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Garden Rocks Concert Series is back – every single day…

SPECIAL REPORT: Non-Compliance with State Law Plagues Orange County Soil & Water Board

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Florida currently has 58 Soil & Water Conservation Districts which were…

Chairman Daisy Morales Announces New Website for Orange Soil and Water Conservation District

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – After four years of ongoing board meetings and delays to…