Orlando mayoral election: Meet the candidates
The Orlando General Election for Mayor and City Commissioner for Districts 4 and 6 will be held Tuesday, according to the City of Orlando’s website.
Qualified candidates for the 2015 mayoral election include incumbent mayor John Hugh “Buddy” Dyer, Jr., “Sunshine” Linda-Marie Grund and Paul Paulson.
For voters who haven’t quite decided on their candidate of choice yet, the Central Florida Future has compiled some things to know about each candidate and their visions for the City of Orlando.
Buddy Dyer is an Orlando native, a former Florida Democratic Senate Leader and current mayor of the City of Orlando. Keeping Orlando’s communities safe, generating quality jobs, providing mobility and transportation options, ending homelessness and helping Orlando become one of the most sustainable cities in America are among his top priorities.
Mayor Dyer has committed to bolstering police protection and has brought about the most dramatic reduction in crime in Orlando’s history, according to the City of Orlando’s website.
“[He] is leading the effort to diversify Central Florida’s economy and create a new breed of high-tech, high-wage careers for residents in cutting edge industries such as digital media, life sciences and biotechnology, modeling, simulation and training, and aviation and aerospace,” the website states.
According to his campaign website, public safety has always been one of Dyer’s top priorities. He champions a model of public-private partnerships that is currently being leveraged to “bring a UCF/Valencia campus Downtown and end veteran and chronic homelessness,” his website states.
Sunshine Linda-Marie Grund
Sunshine Linda-Marie Grund, a UCF graduate with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in nonprofit management, “dreams of using promise, peace and purpose to refresh the City of Orlando,” according to her campaign page on her personal blog.
Sunshine has been a resident of Orlando for more than a decade, where she currently resides with her husband Joe and family, and has devoted her life to public service.
"I think it's time for Orlando to have a fresh approach in its leadership, one that gives the citizens a voice. My goal is to be that voice,” Grund said. “An issue that is important in this vision is the diversity in our workforce, specifically the attraction of high-paying jobs.”
Grund said that government is not responsible for creating jobs, but rather for supporting the environment that nurtures them. She believes education is a key to such economic growth and success.
Additionally, her campaign focuses on promoting promise by building an environment that supports growth for businesses and citizens, peace by keeping the streets we live and work on safe and clean, and purpose by managing how tax dollars and resources are spent to efficiently and effectively best serve the community.
Paul Paulson, a 30-year resident of Orlando and a U.S. Army veteran, is running on a platform of lowering taxes, improving Orlando’s neighborhoods, supporting and advancing public safety and providing an administration that cares about Orlando’s citizens.
He has developed a plan that will consolidate city programs and departments to increase efficiency, provide accountability and responsibility in public spending, and advocate on behalf of the City of Orlando and its residents.
“Orlando not only deserves better, but needs better leadership, and we have found that in Paul Paulson,” said Elaine Sarlo, communications director for Paulson. “ … Mr. Paulson brings to the table business sense, an outsider perspective, and a deep sense of community that is crucial in this election. As soon as he takes office, Mr. Paulson plans to lower taxes as well as investigate how duplicate services offered by the city and county can be consolidated in order to keep dollars in tax payer’s pockets.”
Students are encouraged to let their voice be heard this Tuesday by voting in the election for Mayor and City Commissioner.
To find your district and polling location, visit ocfelections.com and click on “Find Your Precinct."
Lauren Konkol is a Contributing Writer for the Central Florida Future.