Orange County School Board Campaign Update

Published in Orlando Political Observer. See the article here.

Everyone aboard the school board train. Four seats are being contested including school board chair, and there are 13 combined candidates who have filed to run. How’s that for competition?

Current Orange County School Board Chair Bill Sublette has announced a run for Orange County mayor, so he’s not seeking another term as chair. Joie Cadle, school board member who represents District 1, isn’t filing for re-election.

District 2 is represented by Daryl Flynn; she isn’t returning, and school board member Linda Kobert, District 3, has drawn two challengers.

For school board chair, Nancy Robbinson is giving up her seat in District 6 to run, which means that seat will soon open. Serving since 2008, Robbinson has a long tenure that gives her a fairly good shot at taking the school board chair seat.

Would also help if she remains as the only filed candidate. Robbinson has no reports, but it will be interesting to see how much money she raises in November.


District 1

Four candidates are looking to take over for Cadle, including Angie Gallo. Just filing in November, Gallo’s first report isn’t due until mid-December.

Next up is David Mitchell Haynes; he first filed in May of this year but hasn’t raised any money. He’s filed a waiver for each month he’s been a candidate.

Terry Rooth has been a candidate for nearly a year. Rooth loaned his campaign $1,000 but hasn’t raised money outside of the loan.

The last candidate is Heather Watson Traynham. Rumored to run for chair, Traynham has settled on District 1 and filed in November. Her first report will not arrive until December.


District 2

A clash of five candidates is happening in District 2. Sara Au is the first candidate listed and has raised a respectable amount in her first month. In October, Au’s donations totaled $1,525 including a $600 loan from the candidate.

Next is Jacqueline Centeno, a former school board candidate. She filed a waiver for October, and her last filed report showed donations of $150. Her total raised is $968.33.

David Michael Grimm raised $435 in October and spent $71. Grimm filed in October, so his total raised is his donation total for October.

Community advocate Chadwick Hardee has filed to run in District 2 as well. Hardee is the most formidable candidate so far as he’s raising a good amount of money. In October, his donations totaled just $100, but he’s raised $15,835 for his campaign.

That’s impressive for a school board seat and is enough to set him apart from the group.

Lastly, there’s Demetrius Vashawn Smith, a candidate who has raised just $25, and that was from a loan.

In October, Smith filed a waiver for his report.


District 3

The incumbent, Linda Kobert, filed re-election paperwork a week ago, so no fundraising reports to show yet. But it’s a safe bet that she’ll raise the necessary money to run a competitive race.

Challenging Kobert is Jessica Torrence. In October, Torrence raised $10 to bring her total to $1,418.

Richard Allan Victor is the last filed candidate, placing his paperwork in to run just a day after Kobert filed hers. No reports yet, but it seems that District 3 will be a race to watch in 2018.