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Ocoee sets District 4 commissioner special election for June 13

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Norine Dworkin

Editor in chief

Wednesday, March 22, 2023


Norine Dworkin/VoxPopuli

The winner of Ocoee's June 13 special election for District 4 commissioner will serve the remainder of former Commissioner George Oliver III's term, until March 2025. No word on whether Oliver will run again.

Updated March 28, 9:30 p.m. to reflect the cost of the special election. 

The Ocoee City Commission Tuesday set the special election for District 4 commissioner for June 13.

The special election is needed to fill out the remainder of former Commissioner George Oliver III’s second term, which runs through March 2025. Oliver vacated his seat to run unsuccessfully for mayor in last week’s municipal election. Oliver notified the city he was resigning his office on Jan. 10. His resignation became effective Tuesday when Mayor Rusty Johnson again took the oath of office.

According to the city charter, a special election must be held within 90 days of a vacancy when a general city election won’t be held within the next 12 months.  

The qualifying period for the special election takes place April 21-28. Candidates must be residents of the district and pay a $90 filing fee. The election is anticipated to cost $8,000 to $10,000, according to City Clerk Melanie Sibbett. 

The only declared candidate to date is Nate Robertson, who made a run as a Republican for an open Florida House seat in the midterm elections, but lost to Democratic Rep. LaVon Bracy Davis.

In his comments before departing the dais Tuesday ahead of the swearing in ceremony for the mayor and commissioners, Oliver seemingly left open a comeback, saying, “Muhammad Ali once said, You don’t lose a race because you got knocked down. You lose a race because you didn’t get up.” (The actual Ali quote is “You don’t lose if you get knocked down. You lose if you stay down.”)

While he did not respond to a text today from VoxPopuli asking whether he would run again for his commission seat, nothing in the city’s charter appears to prevent Oliver from attempting to reclaim it. The charter says: “The successor shall serve for the unexpired term of the member who created the vacancy.” It puts no limitations on who the successor can or can’t be.

The commission will appoint a temporary District 4 commissioner on April 18, as mandated by the city charter, to serve until the new commissioner is elected and sworn in. Candidates for this temporary position need to reside in Ocoee, although not necessarily within District 4, and they should not be running in the special election. For more information, contact the Ocoee City Clerk at

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