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Daisy Morales Blasts Rita Harris as the “Worst Lawmaker in Orange County State Delegation”



ORLANDO, Fla. – Today, Daisy Morales, candidate for State Representative District 44, released a statement calling State Representative Rita Harris the worst lawmaker in the Orange County State Legislative Delegation in passing proposed bills during the 2023 Legislative Session.


15 lawmakers are part of Orange County State Legislative Delegation
Florida State Senator Dennis Baxley serves as the Senate President Tempore and also represents part of Orange County, but also did not introduce any bills during the 2023 Legislative Session.


Rita Harris’ Report Card: Bills Passed 0

“With a disastrous record of zero wins in passing seven different pieces of legislation in the Florida House, Harris recently filed for re-election, kicking off her campaign as an ineffective lawmaker,” said Morales.

“The seven proposed bills she filed were dead on arrival:

2023HB 61Medicaid Expansion through a Medicaid Buy-in ProgramDied in Healthcare Regulation Subcommittee
2023HB 393Gay and Transgender Panic Legal DefensesDied in Criminal Justice Subcommittee
2023HB 863Holocaust Remembrance DayDied in Constitutional Rights, Rule of Law & Government Operations Subcommittee
2023HB 905Deferred Retirement Option Program Eligibility for School Employees and PersonnelDied in Constitutional Rights, Rule of Law & Government Operations Subcommittee
2023HB 907Denial of Health Care ServicesDied in Healthcare Regulation Subcommittee
2023HB 1033Reproductive Health Care RightsDied in Healthcare Regulation Subcommittee
2023HB 1053Organ DonationDied in Healthcare Regulation Subcommittee


“It’s clear that all of Harris’s bills had one thing in common: They didn’t pass on the House floor, didn’t make it to the Governor’s desk, and didn’t become law.

“Harris is going to have a very difficult time explaining to District 44’s voters, donors, businesses, and elected officials who endorsed her 2022 campaign why they should support her re-election campaign.

“Remember, a lawmaker’s job is twofold: pass legislation and balance the state budget. The second part always gets done, but she’s hurting on the first.

“She co-sponsored 27 bills during this Session and shared the list with her constituents saying she ‘helped pass’ them. When I ran in 2022, Harris brushed off my cosponsored bills saying, ‘Anyone can co-sign a bill.’

“And that’s exactly what an outsider, ignorant of the process, would say.

“Now that she’s finally been in the trenches, she was quick to share those 27 bills. And even then, that pales in comparison to my 56 cosponsored bills—much less the fact that three pieces of legislation I sponsored passed the Florida House, and two of them were signed into law by the Governor during my first Legislative Session. And this Legislative Session wasn’t any worse than 2021 or 2022. I was there when the Governor decided to wage his war with Disney. I was there during the Special Sessions on property insurance, and I’m still prepared to fight on behalf of Floridians again concerning that.

“And then there’s District 44. Florida is a tourism-heavy state, and this district is the tourism epicenter and economic linchpin for the entire state. Harris has failed the people of this district.

“She was so far out of touch, she managed to miss one of the biggest, most visible issues in the heart of her district—the FreeFall amusement ride incident that resulted in the unfortunate death of 14-year-old Tyre Sampson. State Senator Geraldine Thompson relentlessly fought for the Tyre Sampson Act, which unanimously passed the Florida Legislature during the 2023 Legislative Session. Though Harris cosponsored the bill, her fellow Democrats didn’t consider her or invite her to be a primary sponsor. Sen. Thompson instead connected with Rep. LaVon Bracy-Davis, who represents a different district, for the House companion bill.

“District 44 deserves better.

“As a public servant for over 30 years, working for the U.S. government, then elected as an Orange Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor, then as State Representative, I understand how to gauge what matters most to the people. I understand how to introduce legislation and House Resolutions that benefit the people of Florida and District 44.

“For instance, during the 2022 Legislative Session I introduced historic House Resolution 8069 celebrating Puerto Rican Heritage Day statewide. During the 2021 Legislative Session, I introduced House Resolution 8053 recognizing World Vitiligo Day and hosting Orlando’s first-ever World Vitiligo Day celebration educating my constituents on this “silent disease,” freeing them by busting the myths and misconceptions around it, and empowering them with ways to improve their relationships with the people in their lives who struggle with it.

“I’m the best candidate for District 44 because I’ve proven myself effective. I’m still focused on what’s still hurting Florida families and the district: rising prices, struggles with affordable housing, finding good jobs, securing affordable health care, and building a strong economy. These issues matter as much to business owners and leaders in District 44 as they do to the residents who work for them. Also, since Democrats are even more outnumbered in the legislature, it’s more important now than ever before to sponsor common sense legislation—like the Tyre Sampson Act, that both sides can agree on and get passed.

“Hispanics never stop fighting for what’s right, especially Puerto Rican voters seeking to boost their political voice in Tallahassee,” said Morales. “They are ready to send me back to the Florida House as the next state representative for District 44.” I’m ready to serve all Floridians.

Central Florida News

Unopposed: Orlando City Commissioner Tony Ortiz Cruises to 5th Term



File - Photo by Florida National News

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – Orlando City Commissioner Tony Ortiz will serve another four years in office following an unopposed re-election campaign for his fifth term.

It appears that unopposed races reflected positively on the city’s performance. The lack of candidates overall is a sign that Orlando City Commission District 2 is running very well at the hands of Commissioner Ortiz.


Other Elections

In his re-election bid for a 6th term, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer will face challengers Sam Ings, Tony Vargas and Steve Dixon. Orlando City District 4 Commissioner Patty Sheehan will face Katie Koch and former Trump campaign Orange County chairman Randy Ross. Orlando City District 6 Commissioner Bakari Burns will face Rufus Hawkins in his re-election bid.

An election is set for November 7th.

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Central Florida News

Mayor Buddy Dyer Will Seek 6th Term; Faces Sam Ings, Tony Vargas, and Steve Dixon



Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer speaks during Mayor Demings' and Orlando Mayor Dyer's proclaimed "Disney Day" at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida Friday, December 3, 2021. Photo: Harry Castiblanco/Florida National News.
File - Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer speaks during Mayor Demings' and Orlando Mayor Dyer's proclaimed "Disney Day" at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida Friday, December 3, 2021. Photo: Harry Castiblanco/Florida National News.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer will face challengers Sam Ings, Tony Vargas and Steve Dixon as he mounts a run for a historic sixth term. Dyer, Ings, Vargas and Dixon qualified for the 2023 Mayoral race ahead of the September 14th qualification deadline.

Former Orlando City Commissioner Ings is seeking a rematch to oust Dyer.


Statement by Mayor Buddy Dyer

Mayor Dyer said, “I am proud to be in the race to serve our diverse community once again as Orlando’s Mayor. Together, we will continue to improve the overall quality of life and secure a brighter future for everyone who calls Orlando home. This includes responsible investments that diversify and strengthen our economy and grow the quality careers of tomorrow. We will continue to expand our parks, make transportation accessible and keep our City safe.”

Under Buddy Dyer’s leadership as Mayor, Orlando has evolved into a world-class city with premier sports, arts and cultural venues, and leads as the Southeast’s most sustainable city. Mayor Dyer remains committed to creating a robust economy through initiatives like the Main Street Program, which has led to the creation of more than 1,000 new businesses, and the development of the Creative Village in Downtown Orlando and Medical City in Lake Nona. Mayor Dyer has worked alongside Orlando residents to define Orlando as the country’s new home for inclusiveness and opportunity, with a strong focus on innovation, safety, transportation, sustainability and government efficiency. Orlando is also among an elite group of A-list cities across the globe that are recognized for its actions to fight climate change.


Election Information

Early voting for the Mayoral race will take place from October 28 – November 5, 2023, with election day on November 7, 2023. For more information, visit

Voters who desire to vote by mail must re-request their ballot by October 26, 2023 via the Supervisor of Elections Office at or in-person at 119 W. Kaley Street, Orlando, FL 32806.

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Central Florida News

OPINION: Democratic State Senator Victor Torres Seat Could Flip Republican or White



Florida State Senator Victor Torres, Jr., presenting Senate District 25 in Osceola and Orange counties.

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (FNN) – Recently, Osceola County School Board Member Jon Arguello and St. Cloud Proud Foundation Founder Jose Martinez filed paperwork to run for the Florida State Senate District 25 open seat, according to the Florida Division of Elections’ website.

Both candidates are Hispanics and Republicans.



Could Senate District 25 Flip Republican?
Arguello and Martinez are hoping to flip State Senate District 25 seat for the Republican Party in 2024. Senate District 25 is heavily Hispanic with a large Puerto Rican population in Osceola and Orange counties.

During the 2022 midterm election, incumbent State Senator Victor Torres was clearly losing support among Democrat and independent Hispanic voters in Osceola County. Republican candidate Peter Vivaldi came within 300 votes of flipping Osceola County out of the Democratic Party’s hands. The Democrats appear to have their work cut out for them if they want to switch Osceola County from purple back to blue.



U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, Governor Ron DeSantis, both Republicans, won Osceola County in the 2022 election, showing an ideological shift in the population.


Florida State Representative Kristen Arrington, a Democratic candidate for Florida State Senate District 25, attends the Central Florida AFL-CIO annual Labor Picnic in Orlando. Photo by Florida National News.

Florida State Representative Kristen Arrington, a Democratic candidate for Florida State Senate District 25, attends the Central Florida AFL-CIO annual Labor Picnic in Orlando. Photo by Florida National News.


Could Senate District 25 Flip White?
In since 2012, Darren Soto was the first and Victor Torres was the second Puerto Rican elected to the State Senate. Both are registered Democrats.

Democratic State Representative Kristen Arrington flipped a former Puerto Rican seat white when she won Florida House District 43 in 2020, vacated by then Democratic State Rep. John Cortes, who ran unsuccessful for Osceola County Clerk of the Courts. The seat is yet to be reclaimed by a Puerto Rican candidate because after redistricting, Rep. Arrington was re-elected by a landslide (Arrington 58.3% to Republican Christian De La Torre 38.7) to the predominantly Hispanic constituency, renamed District 46, in 2022.

And now, with her sights on Sen. Torres’s seat for 2024, Rep. Arrington may very well win (and flip) that seat too. Arrington carries with her a name with strong political capital. She’s working full time in the family business: Her mother-in-law, Mary Jane Arrington, is the Osceola County Supervisor of Elections, while her husband, Brandon Arrington, was elected for Osceola County Commissioner for District 3 in 2020 and became Board Chair in 2022.

After Arrington’s win in 2020, Puerto Rican Democrats only have one seat in the Florida House–Rep. Daisy Morales won in 2020 and lost in 2022 to Rita Harris, who is white and a Democrat, while Orange County School Board Member Johanna Lopez, who’s Puerto Rican and a Democrat won the District 43 seat that became available after redistricting split Rep. Morales’ District 48 in half (districts 43 and 44).

Arrington’s current Democratic opponent in the SD 25 race is Sen. Torres’s own wife Carmen Torres. While Torres has worked alongside her husband as well as their daughter–Orange County Property Appraiser Amy Mercado–in building strong relationships among unions, Democrats and political action committees (PACs), the Arringtons appear to have a dynasty in Osceola County, so Torres will have her work cut out for her in that portion of the district.

In 2022 Arrington continued to make inroads with the Puerto Rican community by endorsing State Rep. Morales re-election bid, the only Puerto Rican in the Florida House, and co-sponsored bills Morales sponsored that were signed into law. However, Senator Torres, his daughter and wife chose to endorse Harris, who is white, instead of gaining an additional House seat (District 44) and political power for the Hispanic community.

Puerto Rican political organizers and activists told NBC News, “We must elect more Puerto Ricans to local and state offices and Congress.”



During the 2022 election, Governor DeSantis focused heavily on voter registration, which appeared to benefit him in Osceola County, and the Democrats will need to focus on GOTV (get out the vote) and voter registration efforts in order to increase their chances of victory. With 2024 being a presidential election year, more Democrats will turn out, but Democrats, especially in the Hispanic and Puerto Rican communities, will need to take a page out of DeSantis’s playbook and unify–with zero infighting whatsoever, despite their differences–and turn out every vote they possibly can in order to protect their representation. If not, the seats will continue to be scooped up by others.


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