Incumbents prevail big in city commission elections

The streak is over, and in a big way.

The Apopka voters, after eight years of voting out incumbents, have finally settled on two members of the city commission that they want to keep. Commissioners Doug Bankson (Seat #3) and Kyle Becker (Seat#4), won huge victories over challengers Leroy Bell and Lorena Potter in the 2020 Apopka municipal elections.

Bankson claimed 4,393 votes (60%), easily outdistancing Bell, who received 2,917 votes (40%). It was a much larger margin than his runoff victory over then-incumbent Sam Ruth in 2016, when he received 2,707 votes (55.5%).

Bankson posted on his Facebook page, “Election results are in!!! WE DID IT!!! Thanks everyone for all of your love and support. We couldn’t have done it without you. I can’t wait to continue to serve Apopka with all my heart. Let’s keep moving Forward Together!”

Becker received 4,472 votes (62%), a clear win compared to Potter’s 2,772 votes (38%). He also outperformed his 2016 showing, when he defeated 40-year incumbent Bill Arrowsmith with 2,689 votes (55%).

“First, I would like to thank Lorena Potter and her supporters for a competitive and civil campaign,” said Becker. “I know how much hard work and long hours go into running a campaign like this, and she should be commended for it. I am so grateful to my fellow Apopka voters, and the confidence they have in me to be their representative voice on our city’s Council.  I have taken great pride in being a prepared and practical leader and feel so privileged to serve a second term as Commissioner of Seat 4.  There are many family, friends, and campaign supporters to thank for helping me on this path, but the most important are those that cast a vote, and use that vote as their voice for what they want Apopka to be.  I will continue to fight for their best interests, and all of Apopka.”

Potter posted on her Facebook page, “Congratulations to Kyle Becker on his retention of Apopka City Council Seat 4. Many thanks to all of the friends, family and volunteers who supported me throughout my campaign. It was a great experience and I really enjoyed getting out in the community and meeting so many people. Although I will not be a Commissioner, I still plan to stay actively engaged in community affairs.”

Although 5,074 ballots were received through mail-in or early voting for the Apopka elections, the coronavirus seemed to keep most voters home, with only 2,654 ballots cast on election day – making the turnout lower than in 2016 – the last time the municipal elections were held the same day as a Presidential Preference Primary. In 2016, 10,249 ballots were cast in the Apopka municipal election.

The next municipal elections in Apopka will be held in 2022 when Seats #1 and #2 on the city commission will be up for grabs. Commissioners Alexander H. Smith (Seat #1), and Alice Nolan (Seat #2) are the incumbents. Mayor Bryan Nelson will also be up for re-election in 2022.

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