Orange County Commissioner Pete Clarke is planning to file today to run for Orange County mayor.
Clarke advised his friends and supporters last night of his plans, as he prepares to become the third major candidate to file in a little more than a week, and the fourth major candidate to enter the race to succeed term-limited Mayor Teresa Jacobs in the 2018 election.
“Just a quick note to let you know that tomorrow I will file to run for Orange County Mayor,” Clarke stated in a text message he sent out Monday evening. “This is a decision I reached in discussion with my wife, cathie, family, friends and my pastor and in many cases you! Together we can continue to create an inclusive community designed to keep our best and brightest to secure a future of prosperity for all.”
Clarke, a Republican who represents south-central Orange County, has long been plugged into civic organizations and won an upset victory to the commission in 2012, and was easily elected to a second term last year year. An affable commissioner with a professional background in health-care management, Clarke often has used humor to ease tense situations at the commission.
Clarke, who lives in the Conway area of Orange County, enters a race that already has Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, a Democrat from Windermere; Orange County School Board Chairman Bill Sublette, a Republican from Orlando; and Orlando Chamber of Commerce President Rob Panepinto, a Republican from Winter Park.