Orange County has largest primary voter turnout for 2018 midterms

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | Voters in Orange County turned out in record numbers for the 2018 midterm primary elections Aug. 28.

More than 170,000 Orange County voters went to the polls to vote for their party’s nominees in state races for governor, Congress, attorney general and the Florida Legislature, as well as local races including Orange County mayor, Orange County Commissioners and Orange County School Board Chair.Voter turnout was at 22.06 percent this year, up more than 3 percent from 2016’s primary elections and up nearly 6 percent from the last midterm primary elections in 2014.

Orange County Sheriff Jerry L. Demings won the Orange County mayoral race with 61.6 percent of the vote. Demings beat out Orange County Commissioner Pete Clarke and business consultant

Rob Panepinto, who got 22 percent and 16.4 percent of the vote, respectively.

Demings becomes the first African-American elected as county mayor. He will take the oath of office Dec. 4.

Demings assumes the role of county mayor from termed-out Teresa Jacobs, who won her own election for Orange County School Board Chair with 52.2 percent of the vote. Jacobs’ nearest competitor managed only 25.8 percent of the vote.

Orange County also had two LGBTQ candidates running for commissioner seats; Eric Rollings in District 3 and Susan Makowski in District 4. Rollings received 17 percent of the vote, putting him in fourth place behind Mayra Uribe (28 percent), Pete Crotty (22 percent) and Bobby Lance (21 percent). Uribe and Crotty will now face each other in a runoff Nov. 6.

Makowski pulled out a victory in District 4, receiving 35 percent of the vote. Makowski will square off against Maribel Cordero who received 21 percent of the vote. If Makowski wins, she will become the first openly gay commissioner in Orange County.

In Central Florida’s U.S. House races, Democrat Nancy Soderberg won her party’s nomination for District 6 (Flagler and Volusia Counties) and she will face Republican Michael Waltz in the general election. The District 6 seat is currently occupied by Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis.

In District 7 (Seminole and northern Orange Counties), incumbent Stephanie Murphy easily won the Democrat nomination and will face off against Republican Mike Miller in the general. In District 8, which primarily includes the Space Coast, Republican incumbent Bill Posey will go against Democrat Sanjay Patel. Both candidates were uncontested in the primary.

Democratic incumbent Darren Soto held off primary challenger Alan Grayson in District 9 and will meet the uncontested Republican nominee Wayne Liebnitzky in the general election. House District 10 (Orange County) incumbent Val Demings won her primary, obtaining three quarters of the vote in her district. District 10 does not have a Republican challenger.

In District 11—home to parts of Lake, Sumter, Citrus and Hernando Counties—Republican incumbent Daniel Webster will face off against Democrat Dana Cottrell. Both candidates were also uncontested in the primary.

The 2018 midterm general elections will take place Nov. 6

Share this story: