Updated: Jan 29
Former state House candidate Nate Robertson announces run for special election for District 4
Ocoee Commissioner Larry Brinson, Sr. told VoxPopuli Monday during the city's Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration that he will not seek a second term to represent District 1. The commissioner said “no comment” when asked why he isn’t running for re-election. He did respond that neither ill health nor hardship played a factor in his decision.
Brinson had some key moments in his tenure. He incurred the ire of animal welfare advocates when he referred to shelter dogs as "damaged" during the city's discussions in late 2021 about creating a carve-out ordinance that allowed the Ocoee-based store Chews A Puppy to continue selling puppies despite Orange County's ban on retail pet sales, which went into effect in June 2022.
Brinson also argued forcefully against changes to the city's Human Relations Diversity Board. The city commission voted to restructure the board after several incidents, including the abdication of the board chair a month before the Ocoee Remembers commemoration in November 2022 of the 1920 Ocoee Massacre.
As of Jan. 17, no one has filed to run for what is now an open commission seat, City Clerk Melanie Sibbett told VoxPopuli in an email. Ocoee's qualifying period is Jan. 20-27.
In related news, Nate Robertson, former candidate for state House District 40 last year, announced Wednesday on Facebook that he will run to fill the District 4 seat vacated by Commissioner George Oliver III who is campaigning for mayor. Florida Statute 99.012 requires that elected officials resign from the office they hold at least 10 days before the first day of the qualifying period for the office they seek.
“Long before my decision to run for Florida State Rep [sic] a great passion of mine has been to see positive change all around me,” Robertson wrote on Facebook. “Whether in people, organizations or government I want to help see positive growth and development. With this as a constant goal I have decided to continue to focus on the local communities around me which includes Ocoee where my family and I have lived for the last 3 years.
“Today, I am announcing my candidacy for Ocoee City Commission, District 4 in a special election that will be held at a date to be determined in either June or July. It is my desire to be a fresh new voice of representation for the residents of Ocoee’s 4th District and for all of Ocoee in directing the business of the city into a bright future. I ask for your prayers and support as I begin this new journey.”
No date for the special election has been set Sibbett told VoxPopuli today.
Democrat LaVon Bracy Davis won the state House District 40 seat with 64 percent of the vote against Robertson, who was the Republican nominee.