April 9 Runoff for Commission Seat #4

April 9 Runoff for Commission Seat #4

Election night ended with a resounding ‘thunk.’ The two top vote-getters, Todd Weaver and Peter Weldon, will get do-overs in an April 9 runoff, since no candidate garnered more than 50 percent of the vote.

The unofficial breakdown from Orange County shows Weaver leading the pack with 2,589 votes, or 47.9 percent, trailed by Weldon at 2,383, or 44.1 percent, and Barbara Chandler with 431 votes, or 7.98 percent. Because there were three candidates, for one to declare a decisive victory would have required he or she received more than 50 percent of the vote.

What Does That Mean for US, The Voters?

We get do-overs, too. According to the Orange County Supervisor of Elections office, anyone who has a request on file for a Vote by Mail ballot will automatically receive another Vote by Mail ballot – one with two choices this time.

Go to https://www.ocfelections.com/ and right in the center of the page you will find information about the Winter Park runoff election April 9. You can use this site to confirm your registration and ensure you will receive a Vote by Mail ballot if you want one.

Vote by Mail ballots will be mailed out March 18. The elections office was not sure whether all five Winter Park polling places would be open April 9. The Voice will update this information as we receive it.

The mood at last night’s post-election festivities was upbeat as campaigners vowed to keep waving their flags and placing yard signs.

Asked what her plans were going forward, Barbara Chandler said she had no specific plans, but expressed her gratitude to her community. “I was very proud that the community stepped up and proved themselves to be an asset to our city. We want to be taken seriously in the future and we plan to participate at this level and beyond,” said Chandler.

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    By: Anne Mooney

    Anne Mooney has assumed the editorship of the Winter Park Voice from founding editor Tom Childers.

    Mooney got her start in New York as a freelance line editor for book publishers, among them Simon & Schuster and the Clarkson Potter division of Crown Books. From New York, she and her husband and their year-old toddler moved to Washington, D.C., where the two ran a newswire service for Harper’s magazine. “We called it Network News,” said Mooney, “because it was a network of the Harper’s writers, whose work we edited into newspaper style and format and sold to papers in the top U.S. and Canadian markets. We were sort of like a tiny UPI.”

    The newswire ceased operation with the death of Mooney’s first husband, but Mooney continued to write and edit, doing freelance work for Williams Sonoma cookbooks and for local publications in D.C.

    In 2005, Mooney moved to Winter Park, where she worked as a personal chef and wrote a regular food column for a south Florida magazine. She took an active interest in Winter Park politics and was there when the Winter Park Voice was founded. She wrote occasional pieces for the Voice, including the Childers bio that this piece replaces.

    The Winter Park Voice is one of a large number of “hyper-local” publications that have sprung up across the U.S. in response to the decline of the major daily newspapers and the resulting deficit of local news coverage. The Voice’sbeat is Winter Park City Hall, and its purpose is to help the residents of our city better understand the political forces that shape our daily lives.

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4 replies
  1. Cigar says:

    Bad news for Weldon.

    A popular incumbent would have won re-election rather easily (i.e. Cooper 2016).

    Even if Chandler endorses Weldon, as some say she might, he has so much ground to make up during the next four weeks, it’s hard to imagine him coming out on top.

    Weaver appears to have the inside track heading to April.

  2. Thank you to WP Voice FB posters says:

    Many thanks to Sandy Sherrill Womble for her investigative posts at WPV on FB.

    Also many thanks to Garrick Spears for the head’s up on the multiple accidents at Orange and Westchester (Orwin Manor). I drove there today, and was amazed by the high speeds of the drivers around me.

    (Tonight coming home from the Park Ave. area, a drunken driver was driving with her car lights off; we stopped to tell her; and she could barely talk and said she did not know how to turn on her lights. I am putting the WPPD on speed dial and going to start reporting speeding and reckless drivers. We have so few police on staff; they need the help of citizens to do their job.

    Thanks also to Randy Vance and Peter Gottfried for additional information.

    And thank you from many of us to Chris Gottfried for speaking truth to power re the nature of the land taken ( by eminent domain) from African Americans, ostensibly to create a park to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We want the park to remain named Martin Luther King Jr. Park, the library to remain, the WPPL. We plan to continue to use these names. We don’t care if the City wants to name their convention center the “Canopy Convention Center.”

    The conversation on FB has many of us (lifelong residents) wondering about the history the history of the park; how many homes were seized and demolished? Was the sinkhole/lake there before the takings and conversion? When did this happen? Was there an outcry? Was fair value paid for the seized homes?

    There is no mention of this history on the City’s website page about Martin Luther King Jr. Park. Would there be information at the WPPL?

    Because of the abuse of eminent domain throughout the U.S. by developers, there is a growing movement raising awareness and fighting such seizures.

  3. Weldon's Off Beat Financial Report says:

    This video from Pete Weldon’s Facebook Page shows the six professional musicians Weldon had play for him wearing Weldon campaign shirts in the Winter Park St. Patrick’s Day parade.


    He lists the in kind campaign contribution on his financial report filed with the City at $300 from Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts – the jazz club in Winter Park that Weldon pushed through City Commission approval for a $10,000 gift from the City only months ago.

    Six professional musicians alone, without the overhead and administrative fee of a jazz club at $300 total would be $50 per musician.

    Figure three hours at St. Patrick’s Day parade minimum of musicians time, that’s about $17 per hour for the trombone player, the saxophone player, the tuba player, the trumpet player, the bass drum player, and the snare drum player, each – or about the average going rate for a professional musician.

    Weldon paid $0 for his campaign entertainment.


    It’s listed on his financial report as an “in kind” contribution – meaning that Weldon is stating that he received services WORTH $300 – not cash -and the purpose listed was :parade music.”

    How can Weldon accept free professional services of musicians at the parade for his campaign publicity from a group he voted $10,000 in Winter Park residents’ taxpayer money to give only months ago?


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