TwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle+
  • SAN FRANCISCO (CNN) - London Breed became the first African-American woman elected to lead San Francisco on Wednesday, when her opponent conceded a tight race. Photo: CBS.
    SAN FRANCISCO (CNN) - London Breed became the first African-American woman elected to lead San Francisco on Wednesday, when her opponent conceded a tight race. Photo: CBS.

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!

[Opinion] The Power in Orange County, FL Politics…I See It Differently.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Recently, an Orlando publication published their top 12 most powerful people in Orange County and Orlando politics. And when I reviewed the list there seemed to be more than a number of names out of order and many missing. So, while certainly subjective in nature, I have decided to create my own list (“just a guy with a Facebook page”) that I think more closely mirrors the power in Orange County politics.

Let’s first begin with what I believe quantifies power and influence in politics. It comes down to responsibility and influence. And for some reason some of the heavy hitters that truly have the most responsibility in our county are often underestimated. Whether it’s being mayor of one of the largest counties in Florida or overseeing a $170 billion-dollar property appraiser and assessment process, don’t get it twisted, often those in elected office have far more power than the recently published list acknowledged.

Let’s start by posting the Orlando publication’s relatively weak and misguided list of the most powerful politicians in their published order:

1. Mayor Buddy Dyer
2. Attorney John Morgan
3. Attorney Frank Kruppenbacher
4. Attorney Mayanne Downs
5. Mayor Teresa Jacobs
6. Marcos Marchena
7. Kelly Cohen
8. Sheriff Jerry Demings
9. Chief John Mina
10. Senator Bill Nelson
11. Commissioner Patty Sheehan
12. Congresswoman Val Demings

 

Below you will find “Randy’s TOP 25 Powerful People in Orlando/Orange County Politics,” followed by the ones to watch. I will highlight a few.

1. Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs. Hands down the most powerful role and responsibility in our county. How a city attorney ranked above her escapes me. I originally met Mayor Jacobs in 2000 and I can honestly say she’s the same down-to-earth person I always believed she was. Last year, through her compassion and leadership, she finally got the respect I felt she always deserved from the LGBTQ community despite it being a tragedy that opened that door. While I support term limits, watching her term out in 2018 will be a difficult thing to see. We can only hope that Mayor Jacobs is looking at options to continue her time in public service.

2. City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. Certainly the Orlando City Mayor has a substantial responsibility, but to suggest it’s more encompassing than that of our County Mayor is subjective privilege, not fact. I do predict we’ll see the Mayor announce his leaving for office to become the President of The University of Central Florida…anyone wanting to hedge a bet?

3. Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh. One to watch? I don’t think so. In addition to running what could best be described as one of the most effective property appraiser offices in Florida, Singh has taken his office to places most wouldn’t even dream. In addition to saving citizens millions through critical evaluations, he manages nearly 50 billion more dollars of assessments than his predecessor. I also believe we’ll see him soon jump into the Orange County Mayor’s race. But you didn’t hear that from me… I’m not one to gossip.

4. Attorney and Medical Marijuana Activist John Morgan. Not only has he taken the medical marijuana initiative to reality with millions of dollars, he has been a fundraising guru for Democratic Presidential candidates for years. While I don’t believe he’ll ultimately run for Governor, I do believe he has clearly established himself as a political leader in Orange County.

5. Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph. I’ve been somewhat critical of Randolph in the past, but you only need to have to renew your license or interact with his office to recognize he has taken the Orange County Tax Collector’s office to the next level with technology and convenience.

6. Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings

7. Attorney and Political Power-Broker Frank Kruppenbacher

8. City of Orlando Police Chief John Mina

9. Orange County Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles

10. Orange County Clerk of Courts Tiffany Moore Russell. Time and time again I hear nothing but praise for how Russell is running the Clerk of Courts office.

11. Orange County Comptroller Phil Diamond

12. Orange County Commissioner, Former Florida State House Representative and Apopka Mayoral Candidate Bryan Nelson

13. City of Orlando District 4 Commissioner Patty Sheehan

14. Orange County School Board (District 6) Member Nancy Robinson

15. City of Orlando District 5 Commissioner Regina Hill. Hill represents one of the most integral areas of our City requiring more thoughtful planning for growth than most may be willing to acknowledge. While Lake Nona and Medical City are substantial, Hill’s district truly is the heart of Downtown Orlando, making decisions in and surrounding it impactful and trendsetting.

16. Town of Windermere Mayor Gary Bruhn. Mayor Bruhn is everywhere and possesses loads of clout with his fellow mayors. My guess is he’s perfectly happy being the Mayor of Windermere even if he gets the subtle urge here and there to look at other offices.

17. Orange County School Board (District 3) Linda Kobert

18. Orange County Public School Board Chair and Rumored Orange County Mayoral Candidate Bill Sublette

19. Florida Senator Bill Nelson

20. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy

21. Congresswoman Val Demings

22. Orange County Commissioner and possibly Orange County Mayoral Candidate Pete Clarke. Everyone likes “Pete,” but will that be enough to compete in a heavy Democrat town even in a nonpartisan race? We shall see.

23. Hotelier Harris Rosen

24. Timeshare Mogul David Siegel

25. Consultant and Trump Florida Hispanic Spokeswoman Bertica Cabrera-Morris. As one person suggested to me, Bertica has the ability to touch many things in our community and her brilliance is that most will never know she was there. She embodies class and hard-knocks passion for the clients she represents.

 

ONES TO WATCH (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)

1. Belle Isle Mayor Lydia Pisano. Pisano is one of the most misunderstood elected officials I’ve met. In fact, maybe too perfect. But be on the look out–my money is she will seek County Commission District 3 in 2018. Only time will tell.

2. Orange County Republican Party Vice Chairman Chadwick Hardee

3. Florida State House District 44 Candidate Bobby Olszewski

4. Florida State House District 49 Representative Carlos G. Smith

5. Orange Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor Eric Rollings

6. Former Orange County Clerk of Courts Eddie Fernandez. Fernandez surely must be eyeing various races looking for the right fit. And when he identifies one, he’ll be all in 150 percent.

7. Florida State House District 44 Candidate John Newstreet

8. Political Consultant and Edgewood Commissioner John Dowless

9. Florida State House District 50 Representative Rene Plasencia

10. Planned Parenthood External Affairs Director and Florida State House District 47 Candidate Anna Eskamani

11. Orange County Republican Executive Committeeman and Candidate for Florida Agriculture Commissioner Paul Paulson. Paul is scouting the state right now, putting signs up for his bid for Agriculture Commissioner in cow pastures and roadsides only road warriors can find. He’s viable and not afraid of putting his own money where his mouth is. That combination will prove, I believe, a positive combination.

12. Orange County Young Republicans President Nicholas Primrose

13. Orange County Democratic Chairman Wes Hodge

14. Philanthropist Christopher Comins. Now retired, developer and philanthropist Chris Comins, I predict, will be a person we’re going to hear more about in 2018 and 2020.

15. Florida State House District 30 Representative Bob Cortes

16. Florida Senator David Simmons

17.  East Orlando Post Founder Jacob Engels

18. Orange/Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala. While I think her State Attorney role is on life support, she’s set herself up for something, by accident I believe, far greater for those that do not support the death penalty.

19. Ericka Dunlap, Candidate for City of Orlando District 5 Commissioner. As Dunlap, a former Miss America, sets her sight on this seat, if she doesn’t win, she has certainly set a path for a future as a possible spokesperson for the University of Central Florida or Government Affairs for a Fortunate 500 company.

20. Florida Senator Andy Gardner

 

So there you have it. It’s just my opinion. But the power in Orange County politics isn’t sitting with names people haven’t heard of necessarily. Give the credit where it’s due: to the people in those elected positions responsible for everything from our property assessments to our safety. Give credit to those that truly have impact. To me, that’s the power!

What does your list look like?

Leave a Reply

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

POLITICS & POWER NEWS

National Politics

Rep. Soto, Rev. Sharpton, UnidosUs, NAACP, Civil Rights Leaders Host Press Conference Demanding Trump Admin End Practice of Separating Families at the U.S. Border

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday Congressman Darren Soto, along with social justice leaders, held a press conference…

London Breed Becomes 1st Black Woman to Lead San Francisco After Opponent Concedes

SAN FRANCISCO, Ca. (CNN) - London Breed became the first African-American woman elected to lead San…

Trump Tags US Media as Nation’s ‘Biggest Enemy’ After Summit

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump challenged skeptical media coverage of his historic summit with…

STATE & LOCAL POLITICS

Orange Candidates Qualify for Mayor, Sheriff, County Commission, School Board, Soil & Water

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (FNN NEWS) -  Orange County candidates who qualified Friday before the qualification…

Senator Linda Stewart Doubts New Trump Executive Order Will End Immigrant Families' Plight

TALLAHASSEE – With President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy still intact, and the fate of…

Political Newcomer Andrew Jeng Raises a Stunning $25,000 in Kissimmee Commission Race

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Tech entrepreneur and smart city candidate Andrew Jeng, who is…

Johanna López Endosred By AFL-CIO In Orange County School Board Race

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS)  — Colonial High School teacher Johanna López has been endorsed by…

SPORTS NEWS

MORE SPORTS NEWS

Bamba is the Magic's Choice at Number 6

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - The Orlando Magic spent the 6th overall pick in the…

Daytona International Speedway to Deliver One of the Largest Fireworks Shows in the Southeast At The Coke Zero Sugar 400

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 20, 2018) – When the checkered flag waves on the 60th Coke Zero Sugar…

Orlando City Loses Fifth-Straight Match to Vancouver

VANCOUVER (FNN SPORTS) – Source: Orlando City SC // In the third match of a…

2019 DAYTONA 500 Tickets On Sale Tuesday, June 12

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -Tickets for the 61st annual DAYTONA 500 will officially go on sale…

VIDEO: Buccaneers' Cut For A Cure Raises $130,000 For National Pediatric Cancer Foundation

TAMPA, Fla. - On Monday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers continued to support the fight against childhood…

Orlando Pride Play to Scoreless Stalemate in Seattle

SEATTLE, Wa. (FNN SPORTS) – Source: Orlando City SC // Orlando Pride (4-3-4, 16 points)…

BUSINESS NEWS

MORE BUSINESS NEWS

Political Newcomer Andrew Jeng Raises a Stunning $25,000 in Kissimmee Commission Race

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Tech entrepreneur and smart city candidate Andrew Jeng, who is…

VIDEO: Grenada Consul General Warren Newfield Discusses the Island Nation's Growth

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Grenada Ambassador-at-Large and Consul General in Miami Warren Newfield,…

Comcast Challenges Disney with $65B Bid for Fox

NEW YORK (AP) — Comcast made a $65 billion bid Wednesday for Fox’s entertainment businesses,…

Facebook Says It's Removing Trending News Feature Next Week

SAN FRANCISCO (FNN NEWS) - Facebook announced Friday that it will remove its "Trending" section from…

VIDEO: Dunkin Donut Delivers Free Donuts on National Donut Day

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Friday, June 1 is National Donut Day. You still have…

Orange County Property a Hot Commodity: New Construction Rises to $3.6 Billion in 2018

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Property values for Orange County continue to increase, topping…

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Daytona International Speedway to Deliver One of the Largest Fireworks Shows in the Southeast At The Coke Zero Sugar 400

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 20, 2018) – When the checkered flag waves on the 60th Coke Zero Sugar…

VIDEO: Trayvon Martin's Parents Talk Latest Trayvon Martin Foundation Efforts at ABFF

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - While promoting the newly released Trayvon Martin docuseries "Rest…

VIDEO: "Star" Actress Ryan Destiny Talks Body Image and Her Character at ABFF

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - "Star" co-lead actress Ryan Destiny talks with Florida National…

Comcast Challenges Disney with $65B Bid for Fox

NEW YORK (AP) — Comcast made a $65 billion bid Wednesday for Fox’s entertainment businesses,…

Conservative Commentator Charles Krauthammer Says He Has 'Only a Few Weeks Left to Live'

NEW YORK, N.Y. (FNN NEWS) - Longtime Fox News commentator and conservative Washington Post columnist Charles…

BREAKING NEWS: Miss America Ends Swimsuit Competition

NEW YORK (FNN NEWS) - Gretchen Carlson, the board of trustees chair for the Miss…

LIFESTYLE NEWS

MORE LIFESTYLE NEWS

VIDEO: Grenada Consul General Warren Newfield Discusses the Island Nation's Growth

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Grenada Ambassador-at-Large and Consul General in Miami Warren Newfield,…

BREAKING NEWS: Miss America Ends Swimsuit Competition

NEW YORK (FNN NEWS) - Gretchen Carlson, the board of trustees chair for the Miss…

VIDEO: Newseum to Add 18 Journalists Killed in 2017 to Journalists Memorial on June 4

WASHINGTON -- Today, at 10 a.m., the Newseum will rededicate its Journalists Memorial, which recognizes men and women who were killed…

Facebook Says It's Removing Trending News Feature Next Week

SAN FRANCISCO (FNN NEWS) - Facebook announced Friday that it will remove its "Trending" section from…

VIDEO: Dunkin Donut Delivers Free Donuts on National Donut Day

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Friday, June 1 is National Donut Day. You still have…

Update on the Star Wars Immersive Resort Planned for Walt Disney World Resort

Last summer, plans for a Star Wars-inspired destination at Walt Disney World Resort were unveiled at the D23 Expo. Today…

GOLDEN TRAILER

ESSENCE MUSIC FEST

MISS AMERICA

ABFF FILM FESTIVAL

JAZZ IN THE GARDENS

DAYTONA 500

MISS UNIVERSE

WRITERS GUILD

CANNES FILM FESTIVAL

TONY AWARDS