Apopka Decides 2020
By Reggie Connell/Managing Editor of The Apopka Voice
It may be early in the process, but according to a weekend poll, the Apopka community is already buzzing about the City Commission elections for seats #3 and #4. And with a near-record amount of readers weighing-in, it’s clear the incumbents have an early advantage.
Apopka City Commissioners Doug Bankson and Kyle Becker, both coming off victories in 2016, and completing their first term on the City Council, performed impressively in the very first Apopka Voice Reader’s Poll for the 2020 elections.
With 1,499 votes cast, it was the second-highest level of participation in a poll in The Apopka Voice’s four-year history, and the highest that didn’t involve a mayoral race.
Bankson defeated challenger Leroy Bell with 1,053 votes (70.7%), compared to his 435 (29.3%), while Becker defeated challenger Lorena Potter with 1,309 votes (87.3%), compared to her 190 (12.7%).
Bankson won Seat #3 in 2016 by defeating incumbent Sam Ruth with over 56% of the vote. Bell is running for a seat on the city commission for the second time after a third-place showing in 2016 for Seat #2, currently occupied by Commissioner Alice Nolan.
As impressive as Bankson’s showing was, Becker had an even stronger first poll, collecting the most votes of any candidate in any poll conducted by The Apopka Voice.
“I would like to thank the Apopka Voice readers and voters of Apopka for showing their support. As your Seat 4 Commissioner, I am a proven fighter for the best interests of Apopka, and while funding our police and fire departments, improving our land development code to ensure balanced growth, and approving the foundational funding of an economic development program, I have done so in a way that shows good fiscal stewardship while increasing our general fund reserves each year during my term. There is still much to be done and I would appreciate the opportunity to continue my fact-based, forward-thinking approach to serving Apopka. I kindly ask for your vote on March 17th.”
Becker won Seat #4 in 2016, defeating longtime incumbent Bill Arrowsmith with over 55% of the vote. Potter, a retired City of Apopka employee, is running in her first election.
Editor’s Note: Although the poll is not scientific in nature, and margin of error is undetermined, it does reflect a snapshot of where The Apopka Voice readers stand with these four candidates at the beginning of their campaigns, particularly with so many participating. And in both the 2016 and 2018 election cycles, these polls did prove accurate in determining the eventual winners.