ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Orange County Soil & Water Conservation District Board Supervisor and Vice Chairman Daisy Morales has won two out of three political straw polls and losing one poll by only two votes as a no-show candidate.
Incumbent Supervisor Morales was elected in 2014 to serve on the Conservation Board. She is running for reelection against Sean McQuade of Apopka in the 2018 general election November 6.
Morales shared with FNN News one reason she missed the hob nobs: family. Morales is the sole caretaker for her sister, who has special needs and was hospitalized at the time of the hob nobs.
Her straw poll victories appear to point to the community’s level of trust in her, despite her absence. Since her election in 2014, she has been heavily involved in educating Orange County residents and schools on the importance of soil and water conservation as well as pointing them to resources that help them protect the environment, including hosting an annual Earth Day Awareness tour for the community’s underserved.
Apopka Straw Poll | 27 Candidates | Results
The Apopka Area Chamber of Commerce held its 2018 Apopka Area Political Hob Nob & Straw Poll on July 10. McQuade squeaked out his straw poll win against Morales by just two votes, with 82 (50.62%) votes to her 80 (49.38%).
One possible contributing factor to the close vote in Apopka’s straw poll is Supervisor Morales’s soil and water work there. In 2015, she and the USDA partnered to host her inaugural Earth Day Awareness Tour at Apopka City Hall which had a bevy of elected officials and community leaders in attendance:
- Chuck O’Rourke with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS)
- Apopka Mayor Joe Kilsheimer
- Apopka City Commissioner Diane Velazquez
- Nattacha Wyllie, Special Assistant to the Eatonville Mayor
- Julie Rojas-Stayrook with the Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) Farmwork Job and Education Program
- Osceola Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor Mildred Ramirez
- Osceola County Clerk of Courts Armando Ramirez
- UCF’s SGA Health & Sustainability Coordinator Emily Dovydaitis
- SEIU Organizer Terri Falbo
- Farmworker Association of Florida Representatives
- and other stakeholders from organizations supportive of environmental and sustainability efforts.
Apopka’s reputation as the “Indoor Foliage Capital of the World” because of its multi-million dollar foliage industry is one of the reasons Supervisor Morales chose Apopka to hold her first annual Earth Day Awareness Tour, and she remained engaged with Apopka in partnership with the USDA. In 2017, she and USDA officials toured several Apopka nurseries to inspect the progress of a $1M grant to upgrade nursery filtration systems.
Pine Hills Straw Poll | 36 Candidates | Results
The Pine Hills Community Council held its 2018 Pine Hills Greater Orlando Hob Nob and Straw Poll on July 12. Supervisor Morales received 151 votes (56.98%) to McQuade’s 114 votes (43.02%).
Supervisor Morales is heavily involved in the Pine Hills community, including hosting Pine Hills students at the historic Leu Gardens for her 2017 Earth Day Awareness Tour and was Teacher for a Day at Oak Hill Elementary School in 2016.
Hispanic Chamber Straw Poll | 50 Campaigns | Results
The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro-Orlando (HCCMO) hosted its 2018 Political Hob Nob at Orlando Fashion Square July 27, which neither Morales nor McQuade attended. Supervisor Morales won 63.7% of the straw poll votes to McQuade’s 36.3%.
Morales is actively involved with the Hispanic Chamber and Hispanic business organizations, participating in business conferences and launches, and the prestigious annual Don Quijote Awards. She is an advisory member of Orange County 4-H, which focuses on Spanish-speaking youth in Orange County.
For nearly four years, Supervisors Daisy Morales (Vice Chairman) and Eric Rollings (Chairman) have been the most visible, active and engaged elected officials on the five-member Board of Supervisors which oversee the Orange County Soil & Water Conservation District.
Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org