Republican candidate, Florida House District 39
Commissioner, Seat 3, Apopka City Council since 2015
Founder and senior pastor, Victory Church World Outreach Center
World of Faith Leadership and Bible Institute, Certificate, Theological and Ministerial Studies, 1985
Peacemakers Institute, A.A., Theology/Theological Studies, 2008
Life Christian University, Master's, Theology/Theological Studies, 2012
Doug Bankson, a commissioner with the Apopka City Council since 2015, including a term as vice mayor, is vying for the Republican nomination in the Aug. 23 primary for the open seat in state House District 39. The newly formed district includes parts of Winter Garden and Ocoee and southwestern Seminole County.
As the founder and senior pastor of Apopka-based Victory Church World Outreach Center, Bankson takes hardline conservative political views but hasn’t articulated any specific policies or actions on his campaign website. For example, he says he’s running because of “Socialism and indoctrination of our children … to the point of gender confusion.” He says “far left philosophies” have created “economic chaos” and “first and second amendments” [sic] are “at risk.”
Generally, he says on his website that he advocates for a “business-friendly” environment that gives everyone an equal opportunity to compete fairly and protects the consumer. He talks about preserving the environment for future generations. “Our northwest Orange County has a great potential as an ecotourism destination, and with city, county, and state cooperation we are poised to become a leader in preservation and beauty.”
He wants better border security “with a just path for” immigrants as well as constitutional liberties. “I pledge to uphold the right of the people against government overreach, from states rights to personal health choices. I also pledge to stand firm against the attacks on our first and second amendments and keep power where it belongs: of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
In his news release, Bankson talked about the need for “conservative values and strong leadership” to address issues like healthcare and education. “With a focus on economic stability and growth, I'll make sure we keep government out of the way so that the economy can come back stronger than ever. We will continue to invest in our education system and empower parents to make decisions for their children. I will always stand for the rule of law and support our first responders and military.”
He is also a staunch anti-abortion advocate. At a July 12 forum held by the Tiger Bay Club of Central Florida, attended by Bankson and his Republican primary opponents, Charles Hart and Randy Ross, Florida Politics reported that Bankson said he believes that life begins at conception and that he would support banning all abortion in Florida: “I’m unabashedly pro-life. We need to make sure that we have stricter laws against those who are performing these crimes and make sure we have more support for those upon whom they’ve been perpetrated.”
When he announced his intention to run in February, Bankson, whose current term ends in 2024, told the Apopka City Council that he not only wants to be an advocate for his city but for northwest Orange County.
The Florida Realtors PAC and the Florida Republican Assembly, a chartered affiliate of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies promoting conservative candidates within the GOP are among groups that have endorsed Bankson. The Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association’s Political Action Committee and Political Committee also endorsed Bankson over his opponents.