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Nelson, Sullivan land on Central Florida's 25 Most Powerful Politicians list

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Apopka Mayor ranks #19 in Florida Politics list

Apopka Mayor Bryan Nelson and District 31 State Representative Jennifer Sullivan made the inaugural ranking of Florida Politics' "25 Most Powerful Politicians in Central Florida". Nelson ranked 19th, while Sullivan was slotted at #14.

Apopka Mayor Bryan Nelson

At the top of the list is Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, followed by Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings at #2, District 7 US Representative Stephanie Murphy at #3, Orange County Sheriff John Mina at #4, and District 10 US Representative Val Demings at #5.

Nelson, now in his second year as mayor of the second-largest city in Orange County, came into office with a strong showing in the 2018 election, defeating incumbent Joe Kilsheimer with 63% of the vote.

"Apopka Mayor Bryan Nelson carries with him the rare trifecta of Central Florida politics of having served in state, county, and city leadership positions," writes Scott Powers of Florida Politics about Nelson. "(This) gives him a broad base of support and experience in government, which he needs along with his famous sense of humor."

Nelson, 60, was a former Orange County Commissioner and Florida House of Representatives member before becoming mayor of Apopka.

District 31 State Representative Jennifer Sullivan

Sullivan is a three-term representative in the Florida Legislature from District 31, which covers much of Lake County and the northwest corner of Orange County including parts of Apopka. She was named the chair of the House Education Committee and also has key appointments to the Ways and Means and the Public Integrity & Ethics committees of the Florida Legislature.

"Republican state Rep. Jennifer Sullivan‘s growth to power in Central Florida rose from so many nontraditional roots, she has proven she can be an exception to almost any rule," writes Powers. "Sullivan was one of the youngest lawmakers ever elected in 2014 and is still younger — at age 27 — than almost all of her colleagues."

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