Separate debates between mayoral candidates and candidates for city commission revealed a stark contrast in the tenor and the conduct of the two races.
Mayors Debate First
The first debate, between mayoral candidates Cynthia Mackinnon and Steve Leary on February 19, was moderated by former Channel 6 anchor Lauren Rowe before a standing-room-only crowd. Rowe, herself charismatic and edgy, posed questions that emphasized the differences between the two candidates. Either candidate who failed to answer a question to her satisfaction was given very little leeway. The tone of the debate was contentious, and each candidate’s difference with the other was palpable.
At the request of the Library, both debates were taped by the Winter Park Voice.
Click here to see video of the debate between the mayoral candidates.
Commissioners Meet the Following Week
The second debate, between commission candidates Greg Seidel and Gary Brewer, was downright friendly by comparison. Moderated by Ann Helmuth of the Orange County League of Women Voters, this debate was as much a discussion as it was a debate. While some remarks were in the form of rebuttals, just as often, one candidate simply expanded on the remarks of the previous speaker. Each was quick to acknowledge the strengths of the other. Held before a much smaller audience, the tone of this debate was almost relaxed.
To view the commission candidates’ debate, click here .
Special Election 2015 Section in The Voice
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/.