Activist attorney Euri Cerrud is the best fit for the District 4 seat on the Orange County Commission.
By Jacob Engels
Current sitting Republican commissioner Jennifer Thompson has been her own worst enemy for the duration of her first term on the Orange County Commission. Thompson, an Avalon Park resident and local business owner, has had more negative press than Lindsay Lohan.
Hell, she drinks like Lohan. Several readers called us last year during the Avalon Park Oktoberfest celebration concerned after they saw Thompson running into tables and having difficulty putting together a simple sentence. Her husband David quickly removed her from the event before more people witnessed the alleged public drunkenness.
Barely into her term, Thompson landed in the New York Times for opposing Hispanics placement on local boards. Then she was busted for destroying public records after the controversial sick time vote. She claims just “girl talk” between her and a Disney lobbyist. Disney opposed the sick time measure. She was charged by State Attorney Jeff Ashton and elected to pay a fine of $500 for her destruction of public records.
Since the start of her term, Thompson has mismanaged and provided little oversight or meaningful direction on the Alafaya Trail widening project. The project, which was completed last month – was way over budget and way behind schedule. Thompson, who would frequently claim every improvement on the project was because of her, never accepted the blame or responsibility for any of the negative impacts it had on East Orlando residents, typical operating procedure for a crappy career politician.
In her defense, she has pushed for the addition of much needed recreational parks in the district, but this is hardly an accomplishment worthy of sending her back for another term.
Her main opponent Euri Cerrud, a local attorney and Democrat has mounted an impressive campaign. Cerrud, who jumped into the race after Timber Creek High School teacher Sean Ashby withdrew, has raised enough to engage Thompson on the ground. He has the full backing and support of local Democrats and Hispanics who desperately want to see a more diverse county commission, particularly one with a Hispanic.
Cerrud has routinely hit Thompson for her lack of vision and accomplishments, pointing to her poor management on the Alafaya Trail project. Mr. Cerrud has also made sure to remind voters of Thompson’s ethical woes, and has urged voters to pick someone who will put their interests ahead of special interests. Cerrud has also kept his campaign schedule packed with just about every local event held in the past few months.
In a smart move, Cerrud has also focused heavily on improving the business climate in District 4. In a recent mailer sent to GOP households, Cerrud touted his economic vision, which called for less red tape and more business growth in the district.
The other candidate in the race, Maribel Gomez Cordero has raised little money and ran a largely non-existent campaign after jumping into the race at the end of the filing period in July. Gomez, who was a longtime registered Republican, is widely seen as a plant from the Thompson campaign in order to split the Hispanic vote.
Gomez has done no mailing or other voter outreach, and recently called gay marriage and adoption immoral on a local online radio show, and odd campaign plank for a registered Democrat.
OUR Endorsement in Orange County Commission District 4.
While Thompson has effectively leveraged her business connections and position as a sitting commissioner to raise money and run an active campaign, her ability to lead impartially and with the confidence and trust in voters has evaporated. She couldn’t follow the law and destroyed public records, she failed to hold contractors and the county to proper construction standards during the Alafaya Trail project, and does not have a solid record of accomplishments to merit another term.
Maribel Gomez Cordero, a possible plant from the Thompson campaign to split the Hispanic vote, started to late and has proven to be a non-starter with no grasp of local issues.
Euri Cerrud has run the most balanced campaign, raising enough to be competitive and showing a clear understanding of local issues. He has also shown willingness to address “Republican” issues like job growth and less regulation. For these reasons, we endorse Euri Cerrud for Orange County Commissioner in District 4.
Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post & Seminole County Post. He is a seasoned political operative who has led numerous statewide political groups and has worked on several high-profile local, statewide, and national races. Jacob has been interviewed on national television & radio programs, with his work having been featured in the Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald and other publications nationwide. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org