The Orange County Commissioner for District 3 will hold court near the end of October with an impressive host-committee.
By Jacob Engels
First term Orange County Commissioner Pete Clarke, who pulled off a surprising upset in 2012 is officially launching his re-election bid for the East side district that stretches to parts of Conway and Belle Isle.
Clarke has made a name for himself on the commission as a soft-spoken and diligent hardworker, who has lived up to his campaign promises. He was also the first Republican on the commission to speak in favor of marriage equality, which earned him praise as a “new age” Republican.
Not yet facing a serious or well funded opponent, Commissioner Clarke raised a little over $20,000 during the first reporting period following his filing of re-election bid. Situated in a district with a significant voting block of African American and Hispanic voters, Clarke has always been viewed as somewhat vulnerable.
However, if he runs the same type of grassroots campaign he did in 2012 and makes sure to remind voters of the promises he has kept, he is on track for another victory. He made significant gains into the African American and Hispanic vote in 2012. His presence in the community and down-to-earth nature has helped him make even more inroads in the minority community, where Republicans often have trouble.
“I am looking forward to kicking off my re-election and continuing to connect with my constituents. We have accomplished a lot and will continue to work hard for our community,” Clarke told the East Orlando Post.
Notable attendees on the invite list for his kickoff include: State Representative Bob Cortes, Edgewood Councilman John Dowless, State Representative Mike Miller, Shane Pagano, Wade Vose, Tony Suarez, Former Orange County Clerk of Court Eddie Fernandez, and others.
“Commissioner Clarke is the perfect example of a great public servant. Responsive and caring. One who listens and responds to his constituents quickly. I proudly endorse Commissioner Clarke for Orange County Commission,” State Representative Bob Cortes, who is a main host of the event.
The full invite can be viewed below. A source close to the campaign said that Clarke supporters expect to raise a “substantial” amount of money at the event, hoping to sure up his campaign warchest and scare off would be opponents.
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