Midterm Ends with DeSantis Win, Transportation Tax Axed

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The debate over Orange County’s transportation tax came to an end during the Nov. 8 general election with 58.5% of the vote against the proposal. The 1% sales tax hike was intended to generate approximately $600 million annually for the expansion of Lynx and SunRail routes, and road improvement projects.

Despite support from Orange County leadership and ads that cited potential transportation improvements, the current economic climate and rising consumer costs were a major drawback in the timing of an additional tax.

The proposal was one of many items on this year’s midterm ballot to draw attention and controversy. Yet voter turnout was less than previous elections.

According to the Orange County Supervisor of Elections website, total voter turnout stood at 46.53% with early voting accounting for 16.13%, election day voters accounting for 15.66%, and vote-by-mail ballots representing 14.75%.

For reference, total voter turnout was approximately 59.7% for the 2018 midterm election. Rainy weather and the approach of Tropical Storm Nicole may have had an impact on Tuesday’s activity at the polls.

Gov. Ron DeSantis won a second term with 59.4% of the vote against Democrat Charlie Crist. And Sen. Marco Rubio won a third term with 57.7% of the vote against Democratic Rep. Val Demings.

Demings’ vacated seat in U.S. House District 10 – which encompasses Seminole County and part of north Orange County including Winter Park – was won by Democrat Maxwell Frost. The 25-year-old Frost won 59% of the vote against Republican Calvin Wimbish, becoming the first member of Generation Z to be elected to Congress.

In the State Senate District 10 race, Republican Jason Brodeur won with 54.5% of the vote against his challenger, Democrat Joy Goff-Marcil.

Orange County’s rent stabilization ordinance passed with 58.8% of the vote, however the result is currently in limbo. The ordinance, which would limit rent increases over the next year, has been the subject of a legal tug-of-war between Orange County, and the Florida Apartment Association and Florida Association of Realtors.

According to a WESH 2 News report, a temporary injunction was granted on Nov. 3 after an appeals court found the ordinance to be unconstitutional. Despite the election results, the county must win an appeal for the vote to be certified and for the ordinance to be enforced.

Winter Park residents are encouraged to recycle their election signs, however recycling drop-off is postponed due to Tropical Storm Nicole. Drop-off sites will open at noon on Saturday, Nov. 12, and close at noon on Sunday, Nov. 20.

Residents can bring their signs to the following locations:

  • Cady Way Pool at 2529 Cady Way
  • Mead Botanical Garden Community Garden at 1310 South Denning Drive
  • Fire Station 64 at 1439 Howell Branch Road

For more information regarding Winter Park’s sustainability recycling effort, contact sustainability@cityofwinterpark.org or call 407-599-3364.

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