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Hispanic alliance endorses Joe Lopez in Orange Sheriff’s race

The Hispanic Civil Alliance of Central Florida has endorsed retired Florida Highway Patrol Chief Jose “Joe” Lopez in the election for Orange County Sheriff, Lopez’s campaign announced Wednesday.

“Orange County has experienced a rapid cultural development within the past decade, and our community is now more diverse than it has ever been,” Angel Cepero, chairman of the alliance, stated in a news release issued by Lopez’s campaign. “With that being said, we as the residents of Orange County need someone to flourish this great cultural diversification.”

Lopez is facing Orlando Police Chief John Mina and Darryl Sheppard, CEO of an Orlando venture-capital firm, in the Nov. 6 election to replace Sheriff Jerry Demings, who is resigning to become Orange County Mayor. The winner will serve the last two years of Demings’ unexpired term, and then have to run again in 2020.

Cepero said the board members’ decision to endorse Lopez cited his dedication to safety and betterment of the community.

“I”m honored to receive the Hispanic Civil Alliance Alliance of Central Florida’s endorsement and it reflects that the community as a whole supports me to serve as the next people’s sheriff,” Lopez stated in the release. “I look forward to building bridges and restoring the relationship between law enforcement and the community through trust and engagement. Working together we can tackle the issues from violent crime to safety for our school children and truly make a difference.”

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at

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