2024 Municipal Candidate Profiles
The late Congressman John Lewis said, “The right to vote is precious, almost sacred. It is the most powerful, nonviolent tool or instrument in a democratic society. We must use it.”
We believe that wholeheartedly, which is why producing our voting guides is one of the most important projects we take on here. As editor in chief, I want to share with you how we put together our guide to the 2024 Municipal Elections.
Using Intelius, we did background checks on every candidate running for office in Oakland, Ocoee and Winter Garden. Our team — myself, contributing reporter Kathryn Brudzinski and University of Central Florida journalism interns Andrea Charur, Makayla Gray and Lucy Dillon — interviewed candidates. We don’t provide questionnaires for candidates to fill out because we believe voters have a right to know that it's the candidate who's really answering the questions. Finally, we fact check candidate information to ensure that what we are reporting about candidates is factual. We take the time to check where candidates went to university, the degrees they received, where they work, the boards they sit on, their financial histories and criminal records. We insist on all of these things because voters should know who they are electing.
As President Ronald Reagan said, “Trust, but verify.”
And because The Big Lie persists with a third of American adults and 69 percent of Republicans continuing to believe the 2020 election was stolen, we asked Republican candidates what their take was four years later. These are nonpartisan elections, but it's important for voters to know that candidates subscribe to a shared reality and not "alternative facts."
Read what candidates have to say, look at their websites, attend the candidate forums (Winter Garden, Feb. 21, 6-8 p.m., West Orange High School; Ocoee, March 6, 7-8 p.m., City Hall) and other events where you can question the candidates yourself. Then please use that powerful instrument Congressman Lewis spoke of and vote.
— Norine Dworkin
Editor in Chief