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Is Nelson running for Mayor?


Yesterday morning in a small conference room inside the Apopka City Hall Building the 2018 Apopka Mayoral election may have started. It was there that the Development Review Committee met, and among the items on their agenda was an annexation application from a group of three homeowners currently in the Wekiva Landings subdivision - Bryan Nelson was among them.

County CommissionerBryan Nelson

Nelson, currently a County Commissioner and Vice Mayor of Orange County, has long been rumored as a possible candidate for mayor in 2018. The annexation application only adds fuel to that speculation.

In order to be on the Apopka Municipal ballot, a candidate must live within the city limits. This annexation into Apopka would satisfy that eligibility requirement for Nelson.

However Nelson says his desire to be annexed is motivated by a nearby real estate development, and the fact he owns a business in the Apopka city limits and wants to have a say in matters relating to Apopka.

"I have an interest in the Sandpiper development," he said. "I am concerned with how the lots are being configured. I also own a business here. By being part of the city, it gives you a stronger voice on issues within Apopka."

Nelson's next door neighbor Robyn Cook confirms his account.

"We have lived in Apopka for 30 years," she said. "I own a business here. When I moved here four years ago (Wekiva Landings), I didn't realize I wasn't eligible to vote in Apopka elections. We are very community oriented and I want to vote here. Also the Apopka Fire/EMT and Police Departments...well they just rock. If I ever need help, I want to know they are coming."

Cook, the owner of Florida Door Solutions, approached Nelson with her frustrations over not being in the city, and Nelson told her about annexation. A few days later, she had begun the process, and approached Nelson and a third homeowner in her sub-division to apply as well.

Nelson is a first-term County Commissioner for District 2 which represents all of Apopka, Plymouth, Zellwood and parts of Ocoee, Orlando and Eatonville. He is also Vice Mayor of Orange County. Before that he was in the Florida House representing District 38 for six years (2006-2012) and District 31 for two years (2012-2014). Both districts included Apopka within its borders.

He is also the owner of Nelson Insurance Services in Apopka for approximately the past 20 years and Nelson's Roses for 20 years prior to that. He has lived in the Apopka area since 1956, and at the residence he hopes to annex into Apopka for 23 years. His roots in Apopka are deep, but is he interested in a run for mayor in 2018?

"I haven't even thought about it," he said. "I'm happy being a commissioner and enjoy my work for Orange County."

But if he were to run, Cook believes he would be effective.

"If he wanted to be mayor, I think he would be amazing. I think a lot of people would vote for him."


2018 Mayoral Election, Annexation, Bryan Nelson, City of Apopka


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