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Rob Panepinto announces picks filling out Orange County mayoral campaign team

Orange County mayoral candidate Rob Panepinto announced several additions to his campaign team Thursday, with key figures for strategy, communications, fundraising, and grassroots organization.

“As a first-time candidate for office, I am incredibly proud of the powerhouse team we have built,” Panepinto, a Winter Park businessman and former leader of the Orlando area chamber of commerce stated in a news release. “I am confident that our team is laying the groundwork today to ensure we have the resources to affectively communicate our message to voters across the county as election day draws closer.”

Panepinto faces Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings and Orange County Commissioner Pete Clarke in the non-partisan contest for the powerful Orange County mayor’s seat. They all seek to succeed Mayor Teresa Jacobs, who is leaving due to term limits. The trio and at two other candidates in the race will face off August 28, with the top two going on to the Nov. 6 general election.

Attorney and political strategist Tim Baker, most recently a strategist for Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry‘s election and Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward‘s re-election, is the Panepinto campaign’s general consultant responsible for strategy.

Erin Isaac, a 15-year veteran of Florida politics in senior advisor and communications roles for statewide and local campaigns, is Panepinto’s senior advisor and communications director.

Kevin Hoffman, a Florida-based fundraiser who has worked with U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and Curry’s campaigns, is finance director.

John Dowless, a Central Florida political, public relations and marketing consultant with experience in national, statewide and local levels, including as senior advisor to Jacobs’ mayoral runs, is senior advisor.

As previously announced, Brooke Renney, a Central Florida-based grassroots organizer whose experience includes Winter Park Mayor Steve Leary‘s election campaign, is campaign manager.

“Orange County is at a crossroads, and Rob has the business experience to lead us into the next 20 years of growth and prosperity,” Dowless said. “Mayor Jacobs’ leadership has laid the foundation for a better Orange County, and Rob has a plan to ensure politics as usual don’t get in the way.”

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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