At a March 15th, 2017 City Council meeting, Commissioner Diane Velazquez verbally announced her intentions to run for re-election to the Apopka City Commission. It was the beginning of the race for Seat #2. But then over eight months passed, and Velazquez found herself still running in her own lane unopposed.
Then on December 1st, 2017 two candidates joined Velazquez in the race and filed to run in the Seat #2 election – Leroy Bell and Alicia Koutsoulieris. Then on January 4th, during the Apopka Municipal Election qualifying week, Alice Nolan filed to also run for Seat #2.
Nolan, the overachieving candidate in 2016, received 2,159 votes (22.74%) in the Seat #3 election against incumbent Commissioner Sam Ruth and eventual winner and current Commissioner Doug Bankson in 2016 but did not qualify for the runoff a month later. She did, however, gain political momentum that many thought would propel her into another campaign in 2018.
All along this race seemed destined to go to a runoff – and here we are.
In two polls conducted in January and February by The Apopka Voice, Nolan and Velazquez ran neck-and-neck, then on election day, Nolan edged Velazquez with 2,478 votes (39.7%), while Velazquez received 2,340 votes (37.49%). In third place was Leroy Bell with 1,206 votes (19.32%), and Alicia Koutsoulieris received 218 (3.49%).
Now with Bell and Koutsoulieris off the ballot, who holds the edge in this head-to-head runoff? Where does the race for Seat #2 stand? Will it be as close as election day? There’s one way to find out.
Wednesday, April 4th at noon, we will publish an online poll of our readers that will ask one question:
If the runoff election for Apopka City Commission Seat #2 were held today, who would you vote for? Alice Nolan or Commissioner Diane Velazquez?
The poll will close at noon on Friday, April 6th, at which time we will publish its results.
This is not a scientific poll. The margin of error is unknown, but it should reflect a snapshot of where our readers stand with these two candidates at the beginning of their campaigns, but with less than three months to go before Election Day.
So Wednesday at noon, vote for the Seat #2 candidate you think will best lead Apopka into its promising future.