With the qualification period now complete for this year’s political candidates, the races for local and state office are now clear. County Commission, Kissimmee City Commission and constitutional offices will be up for grabs starting in the Aug. 18 primary election.
As a reminder, you must be registered to vote in Osceola County by July 20 to vote in the primary. All election and voting information can be found at the Supervisor of Elections Office website at voteosceola.com.
The biggest change in Osceola County is that there will be three new School Board members come this November. Two-term members Kelvin Soto, Ricky Booth (more about them in a moment) and Tim Weisheyer are not seeking re-election.
For Soto’s district 2 seat, Jochua Cora Santiago, Kerly Santos and former School Board member Julius Melendez will square off. Weisheyer’s district 3 race features Jon Arguello, H. Rose Corrigan, Victor Cruz and Casmore Shaw. In district 5, Robert Bass and Jeffrey Rivera vie to fill Booth’s seat.
Booth is running for the district 5 County Commission seat, and will face Wayne Liebnitzky in the Republican primary, for the right to face Democrat Tahitiana Chaffin in November.
In district 1, incumbent Commissioner Peggy Choudhry faces current Kissimmee Mayor Jose Alvarez and former commissioner Mike Harford, who Choudhry beat in 2016, in a Democratic primary that only registered Democrats will take part in due to the presence of write-in candidate Janette Martinez, who gets the primary winner on Nov. 3.
Two sitting Kissimmee city commissioners are part of the race to replace Alvarez as Mayor (seat 5). Olga Gonazalez and Angela Eady are joined in the race by Alvin Codner, Jackie Espinosa, Lisandra Roman and Freddy Villaneuva.
Gonzalez’s Seat 1 will be fought for by Olga Castano, M. Hannan Khan and Noel Ortiz. Another three-way battle between Carlos Alvarez III, Niles Chalifoux and Reginald Hardee will decide Eady’s Seat 3.
Incumbents must win elections to keep county offices in these races (incumbent listed first):
Clerk of Court: Armando Ramirez, John Cortes, Jossue Lorenzano, the aforementioned Kelvin Soto.
Sheriff: Russ Gibson, Mike Fisher, Marco Lopez. Primary winner faces NPA candidate Tony Fernandez.
Tax Collector: Bruce Vickers, Orlando Gonzalez
Property Appraiser: Katrina Scarborough, Wilfredo Fonseca.
Supervisor of Elections: Mary Jane Arrington, Jaime Matos. Primary winner faces Beulah Farquharson.
Anyone running in a three-way election must win by 50 percent plus one vote, or the top two will move on to a run-off during the Nov. 3 general election.
The St. Cloud City Council will have three seats up for re-election in November.
Tomorrow, we’ll break down races for those wishing to go serve in Tallahassee, or Washington.