Editor’s Note: This is the 12th in a series of articles published by The Apopka Voice in 2018 that were the most noteworthy events of the year. The Apopka Voice will publish them starting today and running until Sunday, December 30th. On December 31st and January 1st, we will publish a poll and let the readers decide on which story is the most impactful of the year.
First published on November 7th, 2018
Northwest Orange County has spoken, and it has chosen three women to represent them in the Florida Legislature, Orange County Commission, and Orange County Public School Board. Christine Moore won her fourth straight election in Orange County in the last 10 years, Jennifer Sullivan won her third straight contest in the State House District 31 race, and Melissa Byrd won her very first campaign to represent District 7 on the OCPS board.
Orange County Commission District 2: Moore defeats Rumph
Christine Moore is a political institution in northwest Orange County. She has been a campaign manager and consultant for mayoral and city commission elections in Apopka, and for the past 10 years has been on the Orange County Public School Board representing District 7 which includes all of Apopka.
Moore parlayed that name-recognition last night to defeat runoff opponent Patricia Rumph in the District 2 County Commission election.
Moore received 38,408 votes (55.15%), while Rumph received 31,238 votes (44.85%).
Orange County Public School Board District 7: Byrd routs Schwalbach
Melissa Byrd is a mother, a teacher and a first-time candidate for the District 7 seat of the Orange County Public School Board. And now she can add one more title to her list – District 7 School Board member-elect.
Melissa Byrd defeated her runoff opponent Eric Schwalbach with 39,184 votes (63.21%), while Schwalbach received 22,808 (36.79%).
“I am beyond honored to be entrusted with the future of District 7,” said Byrd. “Thank you to each and every one of you who gave me your vote. I will work every day for our children to make you proud. I am thankful to all the supporters and volunteers who helped get us over the finish line. Thank you for all you did from sign waving to door knocking. We did this together! Here’s to our future!”
Thank you for everyone’s support,” said Schwalbach. “I met a lot of amazing people and God has a plan that I already knew ahead of time.”
Florida House District 31: Sullivan wins third term in Legislature
Republican incumbent Jennifer Sullivan won a convincing victory and a third term in the State House District 31 race in overwhelming fashion, defeating Democratic challenger Debra Kaplan with 45,517 votes (61%). Kaplan received 28,907 votes (39%).
“To the voters of House District 31, thank you so very much for entrusting me to be your voice in Tallahassee. To my volunteers and supporters, thank you for your investment of time and resources. To my family, thank you for your steadfast love and encouragement. To my husband, thank you for always having my back, believing in me when I’m discouraged and being willing to be along for this crazy awesome adventure that is our life in public office and the military. God is faithful and I’m overwhelmed yet again at the privilege it is to be your Representative in the Florida House.”