City Election to Fill Commission Seat 2, Decide New Mayor

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Phil Anderson will preside over his final City Commission meeting as Mayor of Winter Park on Wednesday, March 27. He previously announced his intention to not seek a second term, setting the stage for voters to choose a new mayor in the 2024 City Election next Tuesday, March 19. Winter Park Commissioner Sheila DeCiccio is running against real estate professional Michael Cameron, but her candidacy will leave her commission seat empty and three candidates – Jason Johnson, Craig Russell, and Stockton Reeves – want to fill it.

Anderson was a Winter Park City Commissioner from 2008 to 2011 before running a mayoral campaign that focused on protecting Winter Park’s charm, keeping the city financially strong, and putting residents first at City Hall. Each of the five candidates in this year’s races have echoed those values while outlining their visions for Winter Park’s future.

Mayoral race

DeCiccio was elected to City Commission in 2020 and is currently Of Council at DeCiccio & Johnson Law. She previously served on several Winter Park boards including Planning & Zoning, Economic Development, and the Orange Avenue Overlay Redevelopment Task Force. She also serves as Vice Mayor and has cited infrastructure, fiscal responsibility, and funding the police and fire departments as top priorities. Her campaign website states a desire to maintain “the charm, history, and culture of our City while also fostering responsible growth.”

Cameron is a real estate investor and founder of the Cameron Academy of Real Estate. His website summarizes his vision for the city as “a harmonious blend of innovation and tradition, sustainability, and community focus.” Priorities include fiscal responsibility, environmental sustainability, educational opportunities, and community involvement in the city’s decision-making processes.

City Commission Seat 2

Johnson is a commercial trial lawyer and partner at Byrd Campbell, P.A. He was appointed to the Board of Adjustments by Mayor Phil Anderson and was elected Board Chair. Infrastructure, traffic and pedestrian improvements, and preserving city charm are among the priorities listed on his website. “Simply put, I am running for Winter Park City Commission because I feel strongly about preserving the charm and village feel we all love so much about Winter Park,” he states.

Russell is a teacher and coach at Winter Park High School and co-founded of the Army of Angels nonprofit with his wife, Kate Demory. He is also a Parks & Recreation Advisory Board member and a Winter Park Library Trustee. Government transparency and infrastructure improvements are among the priorities listed on his website and he has voiced a desire to preserve the city’s history. He also hopes to manage growth “in a mindful, residents-focused way that will keep Winter Park viable for our future generations.”

Reeves is Executive Director of the Center for Public Safety, Inc.: an organization dedicated to assisting local first responders and dispatch services in obtaining new or expanded facilities. His website lists service on boards and associations that include Winter Park’s Housing Authority, Civil Service Board, and Board of Adjustments. However, his priorities are posted on a campaign Facebook page that also notes a focus on public safety with the goal of having one ambulance at each city fire station.

The winners of both elections will be sworn in on April 10. In the event of a runoff for Commission Seat 2, the winner of that election will be sworn in on April 24.

the32789 previously covered a Feb. 7 candidate forum hosted by Winter Park Chamber of Commerce. Topics ranged from affordable housing to ways the city can generate charm throughout its business districts. The livestreamed event is available via the Winter Park Chamber Facebook page. Neither Reeves nor Cameron attended the event.

Early voting is currently under way until March 17 at Winter Park Library, located at 1052 W. Morse Blvd. Polls are located in the Community Imagination Room on the second floor and are open daily from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Per the Supervisor of Elections, library staff cannot provide wait times during early voting and photo and signature identification will be required.

Check the early voting information page on the Orange County Supervisor of Elections website for more information and all acceptable forms of identification, and see the website’s “find my polling place” page for Election Day voting locations.

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