Alice Nolan
Alice Nolan

Alice Nolan loves Apopka. She was born and raised here and her family is among the original settlers to Apopka.

“They (the Larsson family) settled a portion of Apopka, the Piedmont area,” she said. “They were one of the Swedish settlers. They actually took care of a portion of the road that is now 441 back in the late 1800’s.”

Her roots are deep in Apopka, and it was from her family that she gained such passion for the city.

“They taught me about love and community and it trickled down to me.”

Despite her civic pride, it came as a surprise to the Apopka political community when Nolan, a 27-year old mother of three, chose to challenge incumbent Commissioner Sam Ruth, and Doug Bankson, a well known pastor in Apopka for the City Commission Seat #3. Both Ruth and Bankson are well-financed and with large voter bases in place. It would seem Nolan will be in for an uphill battle.

But Nolan has an authentic self-confidence when it comes to this election.

“I’m very well organized,” she said in listing her qualifications. “I do the research for the City Council meeting anyway. I go out and I talk to the people. I’m a foot soldier when it comes to that.”

A foot soldier is not the typical description heard from a prospective leader, but the title seems to fit Nolan. Her campaign style is talking with individuals in one-to-one conversations. She seems to have time for everyone, and her warm, positive authenticity connects with them.

“I love that everyone has their own opinions…everyone has ideas. It’s what makes everything so great…is that we’re different. I’ve been introduced to different cultures by going door-to-door in the campaign. Sometimes you get caught up in your own group and you don’t see outside of it. Sometimes you see other ideas when you look outside your own group. Good ideas that you didn’t have before.”

Despite her seemingly unlimited optimism towards Apopka, Nolan has been through a traumatic period in her life when she almost lost her infant son Jonas. She was only 23 when it happened.

“My son (Jonas) had open-heart surgery when he was a month old,” she said. “He had died on us… When I took him from the car to the ER… I handed him over to the nurse and she said he had passed away. But they were able to revive him and put him on life support. It was in those hours we learned it was his heart that was hooked-up wrong. His blood… instead of recycling was emptying into his lungs.”

11224822_1073059399412671_5455849323461980753_nThe medical term is total pulmonary anomalous venous return. Jonas had open heart surgery September 4, 2011, but he recovered from the surgical procedure and is now a healthy 4-year old.

It is perhaps from the perspective of a mother challenged with the loss of a child that Nolan can say that Apopka’s problems are minor.12717694_1080875365297741_1810018479117541902_n

“I don’t think we have huge problems,” she said. “A lot of small ones. Everything is fixable. In Apopka we don’t have anything that’s so huge we cant handle it. And that is great. Created problems do not create unity. That’s not going to fix anything. I think as we go along, the younger generation of politicians coming in …I think that will change.”

It is Nolan’s optimism and pride in the city that makes her speak of Apopka as if it’s already in its golden age. Or perhaps it’s a prediction one of her family members made over a century before.

“My great grandfather collected family keepsakes from the early settlers in Apopka… the very first families. He started the Apopka Historical Society because he knew one day Apopka would be great.”

Nolan couldn’t agree with her great grandfather more, and believes his prophecy has already been fulfilled.

This is the first of a series of candidate features The Apopka Voice will publish in the coming weeks.




  1. Jonas is your amazing little miracle from God. I can’t even imagine open heart surgery on a one month old baby. Thank God in heaven above, that the heart surgery saved him, and just look at him now smiling and so happy! You are truly blessed to have your little ones. Take care, keep the faith, and now go campaign!

  2. I want to wish Alice the best on her campaign. The very first thing I noticed about Alice, when I talked with her the first time, was her incredible, just absolutely incredible, and unshakable confidence! She also conveys her ideas very well, her talk is polished, and she speaks with clarity. She also doesn’t think twice about sitting down, and talking with anyone, or approaching someone to talk about an issue, or just to chat. I think that since she is younger, than the other candidates, she probably has new and different ideas, and could offer a new perspective, that would be of a great benefit to our council. I wish you the very best, Alice, in your campaign!

  3. Hey Alice, I just heard your radio interview on 1520 WBZB. Heard it right before 7:00. The interviewer drilled you pretty good! Also I listened to Mayor Kilsheimer’s interview there at Wekiva Island, with the lady that owns the place. It has been a long time since I was down there, we used to go there, and watch the big gar fish swim along with the current, long ago, and walked out on the bridge, and my husband would climb up the trees, and jump in the water, long before the lady and her husband bought the place, wasn’t nothing there then. See you around town, or at the council meeting tomorrow. I bet you got sunburned today, it was hot.

  4. Alice what b background and education do you have that makes you a good candidate? I like your enthusiasm, but what about experience.


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