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Apopka Politics 2022

Becker, Nelson both qualify for mayoral election by signature petition drives

City Commission candidates all still running unopposed


In 2018, Bryan Nelson became the first candidate in Apopka history to qualify to run for mayor by a signature petition rather than paying the filing fee.

"No one has ever qualified for mayor by petition," then-candidate Nelson said at his campaign kickoff event in 2018. "We are going to be the first. It shows fiscal responsibility and that you have community support."

But in the 2022 election, both Nelson, now the Apopka Mayor, and his opponent, Commissioner Kyle Becker, have qualified through the petition process.

According to Orange County Supervisor of Elections (SOE) Bill Cowles, Nelson submitted 565 signatures with 520 being certified.

It takes 355 signatures, or 1% of the registered voters in Apopka, to qualify by petition.

"I appreciate all of the voters in Apopka who signed a petition to get me on the ballot in March," said Nelson. "We have accomplished a lot as a team, but there is still unfinished business to complete."

Becker submitted 530 signatures, with 490 being certified by the SOE.

"I am very pleased to have turned in over 500 signed petitions from Apopka voters who are excited about what I offer as a candidate to be Apopka’s next Mayor," said becker. "It was a true team effort from knocking on voter doors myself, to having the help of some amazing volunteers to collect on my behalf. Qualifying by petition allows my campaign to avoid paying over $5,000 if we were to have qualified by fee. My team will put those savings to great use during the remainder of my campaign leading up to the March 8th election."

Seat #1: Smith still running unopposed in reelection bid

After his announcement reelection announcement in June, Commissioner Alexander Smith is still without an opponent in his Seat #1 campaign. Smith did not release a statement and does not have any events listed on his campaign's Facebook page. As of the October fundraising report, Smith has received $1,575 in campaign contributions and has $1,317.16 on hand in his campaign account.

Seat #2: Velazquez announces upcoming event

Since announcing her candidacy on October 15th, Commissioner Diane Velazquez is still running unopposed for Seat #2.

She released the following statement about her campaign's plans:

"As many residents and business people in Apopka know, my agenda has always been to serve the community first... and second, as I serve as your city commissioner, to provide a safe and clean city where all those that live and work here can be proud and support the direction Apopka is undertaking. As election time draws near, my campaign will not focus on issues without foundation, but on addressing the achievements I, along with the city council, have accomplished since being elected. My last campaign focused on transparency, honesty, and commitment. These three traits will always be elements of my campaign, and are not subject to change or deviate in any way. "

She also announced an upcoming event similar to a town hall.

"I’m planning an assembly and gathering with our Apopka residents, businesses, and those who would like to attend for a question and answer format. The date will be forthcoming," she said.

After the October fundraising report, Velazquez received $2,000 in donations and has $1,976.30 on hand in her campaign account.

Seat #4: Nesta looking to gear up in January

Since he announced his candidacy for Seat #4 on October 13th, Nick Nesta is also currently running unopposed. He released the following statement about the future plans of his campaign:

"We’ve had a great amount of community support," Nesta said. "We are at a pivotal time for the City, and I believe the residents are wanting to have leadership that ensures the enjoyment of our community in the future."

He too announced a campaign event about a month from now.

"We plan on having our first event in the first or second week of January. Fundraising will aggressively start in January and we will be door-knocking come January as well."

Nesta has currently raised $5,050 in campaign contributions and has all of it still on hand.


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