On December 17, Steven J. Leary announced his resignation from the Winter Park City Commission, effective March 15, 2015, which he was required to do to launch his mayoral campaign. Leary will continue to serve as Commissioner, Seat #1, until March 15. If he is elected, Leary will assume his post as mayor at that time. If he loses the mayoral election, Leary will officially resign from the Commission.
Brewer vs. Shambeck for Leary’s Commission Seat
Either way, as it stands now, Leary’s current seat on the Commission will be filled either by former Mayor and Commissioner Gary Brewer or by his opponent, political newcomer Willow Shambeck – to date, the only two who have declared their intentions to run for this seat.
But There’s Still Time
According to Lucy Melendez of the Orange County Supervisor of Elections Office, candidate qualifying begins December 29, 2014 and lasts until January 6, 2015. During that time, additional candidates may file to run either for Commission Seat #1, currently held by Leary, or for the mayoral race.
More Candidates Means February 10 Primary
Three or more candidates for any seat would result in a primary election, to be held on February 10, 2015. If any one of the three opposing candidates in the primary receives 51 percent or more of the votes, that candidate wins the election then and there. If no one receives 51 percent in the February primary, the two candidates with the highest vote counts run against each other in the March 10, 2015, election.
February 10 Primary Changes Voters’ Schedule
A primary would significantly change the dates for voters as well as for candidates. A chart of events is below. Please note: in the event of a February 10 primary, Voter Registration would close January 12, 2015.
2015 Election Schedule — Mayor and Commission Seat #1
Mayoral Donors Generous
The latest Campaign Treasurer’s Report Summaries show that political support has been robust throughout the holidays. Leary’s contributions totaled $21,700 as of an amended December 5, 2014, report. Of that amount, five of the most recent donations came from controversial Ravaudage developer Daniel Bellows and his partner, attorney Robert Saltsman.
Mackinnon Outstrips Leary
Leary’s opponent, retired Judge Cynthia Mackinnon, has so far raised in excess of $95,000. Her donations come from a somewhat broader base of Winter Park residents. That said, Mackinnon’s campaign began its efforts earlier. Leary’s campaign is expected to ramp up once the holidays are over.
Commission Donors Lag
In contrast, Brewer recently reported donations totaling $7,700 and Shambeck reported a total of $4,000 in contributions. These are early days, however, and things are sure to heat up in the new year.
Campaign Treasurer’s Reports can be found on the City of Winter Park website at http://cityofwinterpark.org/government/city-info/election-info/financial-reports/.
Leary Resigns to Run for Mayor
Generous Donors for the Holidays
Greg Seidel to Run for Commission
Commission Race Now Goes to Feb. 10 Primary
Gregory S. Seidel, Vice President of the Balmoral Group, a Winter Park-based civil engineering firm, has announced his intention to seek election to Winter Park Commission Seat #1, which is being vacated by mayoral candidate Steven Leary.
February 10 Primary
By throwing his hat into the ring, Seidel throws the commission race into a February 10, 2015 primary. The primary election will determine one of two things. If one of the three candidates for the commission seat – Gary Brewer, Willow Shambeck or Greg Seidel – wins more than 51 percent of the vote, that candidate becomes the new commissioner. If no candidate wins more than 51 percent of the primary vote, the two candidates with the most votes will vie for the commission seat in the March 10 election.
Winter Park City Clerk Cindy Bonham and Greg Seidel both verified to the Voice Seidel’s intention to run.
No Word on Voter Registration or Absentee Ballot Deadlines
The Orange County Board of Elections was closed Friday and so could not be reached for comment on the effect the February 10 primary will have on voter registration deadlines or the mailing of absentee ballots. The Voice will make this information available when business resumes on Monday, January 5.
Seidel: Strong Engineering Background
Seidel has more than 23 years of experience in engineering with a focus on stormwater management. His experience also includes stormwater management design for major and minor roadways, reservoir design, flood mapping, roadway project management, water distribution design and wastewater collection design.
Seidel earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and his Master of Science in Civil Engineering, Hydraulics and Hydrology from Lehigh University. He serves as chair of the Winter Park Utility Advisory Board.
Campaign Treasurer’s Reports can be found on the City of Winter Park website athttp://cityofwinterpark.org/government/city-info/election-info/financial-reports/.
WP Election Slate Keeps Growing
Commercial Realtor to Oppose Brewer for Commission Seat #1
Winter Park’s election may be four months away, but community interest in the two open seats is heating up. Four eager candidates already have filed to run – more than a month before the official qualifying period even begins.
Shambeck to Oppose Brewer
In the latest filing, Willow Shambeck, president of Cursor Realty Commercial, a commercial real estate brokerage in Winter Park, on Nov. 10 declared her intention to run for the commission seat that will be vacated when Commissioner Steve Leary resigns to run for mayor.
Commission Seat #1 is also being sought by former city commissioner and mayor Gary Brewer, an independent consultant and former president of the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce.
Mackinnon vs. Leary for Mayor
Running against each other for mayor are Commissioner Steve Leary and long-time city resident Cynthia Mackinnon. Leary, who will resign his commission seat to run, is vice-president of Leary Management Group, which handles property management, sales and maintenance. Mackinnon is a retired 9th Judicial Circuit Court judge.
High Dollar Campaigns
This election promises to be a high dollar one. With their early filings, all four candidates have an early start on fundraising. Because she filed prior to October 31, Mackinnon alone had to declare her contributions in the first reporting period. The $77,100 she declared in her initial report exceeds the $65,200 that outgoing mayor Ken Bradley raised over his entire last campaign.
Candidates can submit their remaining qualifying paperwork beginning December 29 at noon. The final deadline to enter the race is noon of January 6, 2015.
WP Political Season Heats Up
Former Mayor to Run for Leary’s Commission Seat
Gary Brewer, who served as Winter Park commissioner and mayor during the 1980s and 90s, told the Voice today he intends to run again for the WP Commission.
Brewer said he plans to file next week for the seat being vacated by Steve Leary, who this week announced his run for WP Mayor.
Also today, former Florida Circuit Court Judge Cynthia Mackinnon followed up her recent campaign treasury filing with a candidacy announcement calling for “A new type of leader.”
Mackinnon pledged to “build consensus” among Winter Parkers, vowing to change the climate of governance that has sent the city “careening from one crisis of its own creation to another by promoting policies and projects that lack community support.”
Click the button below to see the full text of Mackinnon’s announcement.
Commissioner Leary declined a Voice request for a candidacy statement.
Leary to Run for WP Mayor
Leary Must Resign His Seat — Voters Will Elect New Commissioner
One week after Mayor Ken Bradley announced he would not seek a third term, city Commissioner Steven Leary filed his intention Monday to be Winter Park’s next mayor.
Leary, the mayor’s strongest ally on the board, will have at least one other challenger. Cynthia Mackinnon, formerly a judge in the Ninth Judicial Circuit, also has appointed a campaign treasurer and opened a bank account in the mayoral race.
Leary’s decision means city voters now will have two vacancies to fill in the March city election. In order to run for mayor, he must step down from his current seat. He must submit his resignation plans ten days before the qualifying period starts December 29, said City Clerk Cindy Bonham. The date he decides to make his resignation effective, however, has to occur before the mayoral term begins.
Depending on what date Leary picks to resign, a temporary appointee might be needed to fill his seat until the March election. The mayor and the three other commissioners would make that appointment if necessary.
Mr. Leary said Monday he has not yet decided how soon he will resign.
Commissioner Sprinkel Re-Elected
Tonight’s Vote Count: Sprinkel 2,549, Womble 1,571
From Budgets to Baseball: Candidates' Debate Covers It All in 60 minutes
Sprinkel Draws Opponent in Commission Race. Leary Wins New Term -- Unopposed
Special Alert for WPV Subscribers Only
Earlier today – as of the noon deadline for filing candidate qualifying papers – Commissioner Sarah Sprinkel learned for sure that she will face Sandy Womble in a race for City Commission seat 2.
The City’s municipal election for Commission seats 1 & 2 is scheduled for Tuesday, March 11. Winter Park Voice will cover the campaign in its entirety and follow this special alert with an expanded story that will include qualifying papers filed by Sprinkel, Womble and Leary.
Ms. Sprinkel formally announced her candidacy almost two months ago at her “Re-Election Announcement” event on November 19 at Palmano’s on Park Avenue. Tonight, at 5 p.m., her campaign held its “Re-Election Campaign Kick-Off” at the Kummer-Kilbourne House in Winter Park.
Sandy Womble is a Winter Parker who has been active in causes as varied as Historic Preservation and development of the Fleet Peeples dog park.
Ms. Womble completed her qualifying paperwork today in the midst of gearing up her campaign to unseat Ms. Sprinkel. According to campaign associates, Ms. Womble has lived in Winter Park for over ten years.
Commissioner Steve Leary automatically qualifies for a second term by virtue of his unopposed status.
By today’s noon filing deadline, no prospective candidate had filed to challenge him for City Commission seat 1.
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