Gay activist announces run for Orlando mayor

By : Jeremy Williams
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Orlando – Community activist Randy Ross announced May 20 that he will run for Orlando City Mayor against the incumbent, Buddy Dyer, in the 2016 election.

Ross, who is also the host of “Front Porch Chat with Randy Ross & Friends,” made the announcement in a press release saying, “it’s time for the people to take back City Hall.”

“My hope will be to give a voice to the people of Orlando,” Ross said. “I’ve been listening and the people are not being heard.”

Ross made his announcement less than a month after Dyer declared he will run for a fifth term during his State of the City address on April 29.

“I intend on holding the mayor accountable,” Ross said. “He should have to campaign and defend his decisions. We can’t just raise property taxes, move stadium plans or develop unprofitable rail systems without critical thinking as to the outcome.”

Ross was arrested in January on insurance fraud charges. He pleaded guilty to the incident which involved falsifying an insurance claim on stolen lawn furniture.

As part of his plea, Ross is serving five years probation and received community service.

“I always said that if I ran for office again I’d put my skeletons out front and center and I have,” Ross said.

Ross also made headlines in 2014 when he said Clerk of Courts Tiffany Moore Russell, who was an Orange County Commissioner at the time, didn’t do much in office except make babies and go on maternity leave.

Ross moved to Orlando in 1994 and has made a name for himself since becoming a permanent resident.

Ross worked with “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,” an annual event to raise awareness and stop domestic violence. He also led the efforts to help a 96-year-old woman get her house renovated after it began falling apart.

“I’ve always been a cheerleader for the city of Orlando,” said Ross. “But in the last few years, I feel the resident’s best interests and voices are being ignored.”

Ross unsuccessfully ran for Orlando City Commission in 2012 and the Orange County School Board in 2000.

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