On Monday morning, Apopka City Commission Seat #1 candidate Suzanne Kidd shocked the Apopka political world by withdrawing from her runoff election with fellow Seat #1 candidate Alexander Smith. Her withdrawal gave the Seat to Commissioner-Elect Smith and sent speculation throughout Apopka about the state of the Seat #2 runoff.

However, Seat #2 runoff candidate and incumbent Commissioner Diane Velazquez put that speculation to rest. On Wednesday she released the following statement on her Facebook page:

“One week after Apopka’s local elections, conversations and social media comments re: the outcome and the recent unexpected withdrawal by a candidate have dominated the discussion. However, one Seat (#2) remains in the runoff Election set for Tuesday, April 10th.”

“I have 21 years of experience in law enforcement, and I worked under three mayors, and eight police commissioners. A change of administrations is common in public sectors when serving the public. It is my experience and I truly believe in American democracy. A reason why elections are held and voters choose their Representatives. In my first term as Commissioner, I have served All of Apopka with integrity and ongoing effort to engage our residents in the process of governing our City. This election cycle did just that. Apopka voters have chosen Mayor Elect Bryan Nelson to lead our City forward. I personally congratulated him on his win. Each Commissioner elected brings a voice and strength to help build a stronger and growing Apopka, and I will continue to serve the residents of Apopka with integrity; honesty and transparency. Apopka is our family home, too.
On Tuesday, April 10th, I respectfully ask for your continued support & VOTE. Thank you.”

In the Seat #2 general election, Alice Nolan edged Velazquez, but neither candidate was able to achieve the 50%-plus-one standard to gain victory. Nolan received 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%).

Nolan was looking ahead to next month’s runoff when she commented last week.

 “I first would like to thank everyone who voted and everyone who came out to support their candidates.   I am humbled by the amount of support and will continue to work with Apopka as we head into the runoff. I will see everyone again at the polls April 10th.”


 According to Orange County Elections Supervisor Bill Cowles, vote-by-mail ballots were mailed on Tuesday to all voters that received a ballot for the general election. That was one day later than expected because of the unexpected withdrawal of Kidd. Voters can still request a vote-by-mail ballot up until Wednesday, April 4th at 5 pm. Early Voting will be April 2nd-April 6th from 8 am to 5 pm at the Elections Office. 

Election Day is Tuesday, April 10th at the VFW/Apopka Community Center, and the Northwest Recreation Facility from 7 am to 7 pm.


  1. Okay….good to know, game still on for Seat 2. Can’t count on much of anything, anymore, in politics, especially in the national political news. I hope and pray Apopka doesn’t get that darn bad, like that circus in Washington DC, although be prepared for whatever!…lol Please, I want to know, why in the world have people misunderstood Bryan Nelson’s speech at the mayor’s debate about desiring to paint the old Lodge building, and are posting that Bryan wants to paint the VFW building???? The VFW/ Community building is red brick, and doesn’t need painting….you people on social media, posting about Bryan wanting to paint the VFW building, are causing me to go coo coo for cocoa puffs….lol

  2. Interesting to learn that the city mayor’s position is vested into a pension at ONLY 5 years of serving!!! My husband’s city job was vested into a pension at 10 years of service, and that included getting up out of the bed in the middle of the night, while on standby call, and going out into the freezing cold, and standing in deep holes in the middle of the night, fixing water breaks with water up to his crotch, and in broiling hot sun with risk of cave- ins and other crud, not getting to sit around in an air conditioned office with $ 22,000 dollars worth of new cushy furnishings, and millage allowances, discretionary spending allowance, plus $$$$ for globe-trotting all over the country….San Fran, Miami, Washington DC, Nashville, Tallahassee, and What? Cocoa Beach’s Hilton too??? UH UH UH!


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