Meet the 2022 City Commission Candidates

by Anne Mooney / January 2, 2022

Note:  This article was updated January 13 to reflect recent changes in the vote-by-mail ballot schedule. 

Mark your calendars for the Candidate Forum, Jan. 27, 9:00 to 10:15 a.m. at the Winter Park Public Library, 1052 West Morse Blvd., sponsored by the Winter Park Voice, the Park Avenue District and the Orange County League of Women Voters.

Mike Lafferty will moderate

Mike Lafferty, former Opinion Editor at the Orlando Sentinel, has agreed to moderate the Forum, which is free and open to the public. The Forum will follow the League of Women Voters protocols for timing of candidate responses, overall fairness and vetting of audience questions. This election is non-partisan.


Cruzada and Vaya for Seat #3

Two candidates, Kristopher Cruzada and Anjali Vaya, will vie for Commission Seat #3, long held by outgoing Commissioner Carolyn Cooper, who has served the maximum allowed four consecutive terms in office. “Carolyn Cooper . . . those are going to be big shoes to fill,” said Cruzada.

Weaver for Seat #4

Todd Weaver

As of this writing, Commissioner Todd Weaver is running unopposed for re-election to Commission Seat #4.

Candidate filing isn’t over yet

But that could change. The formal period for candidate filing runs from Noon, Jan. 10 to Noon, Jan. 18, so until 12:01 p.m. Jan. 18, we won’t know for sure how many hats are thrown into the ring.

Vote-by-mail ballots go out Feb. 2

The Candidate Forum is slated for Jan. 27. The Orange County Supervisor of Elections will begin sending vote-by-mail ballots to those who have requested them on Feb. 2. The last day to request a vote-by-mail ballot is Feb. 26. The election is March 8. If a runoff election is necessary, it will be held April 12.

Deadline to register is Feb. 7 — Be Ready! Time is short.

If you have questions about your voter status, go to to make sure your information is up to date and to check your vote-by-mail status. It is important to do this now. The deadline to register is February 7.

From Forum Sponsors

“We hope this candidate forum can underscore the importance of small businesses and local community partners in the day-to-day considerations of future candidates,” said Forum sponsor Sarah Grafton, President of the Park Avenue District. “We understand the importance of civic engagement and we are proud to do our part.”

Reflecting the sentiments of the three sponsors, Grafton went on to say, “We are invested in the future of our city and in those who serve it.”


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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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