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No. 22 on the list of Central Florida’s Most Powerful Politicians: Lee Constantine

‘A Republican most known for his stand protecting Wekiva Springs’

It seems like there’s always Lee Constantine, the steady, moderate Republican brokering multiparty deals that keep Seminole County growing while also keeping an eye out for threats to the environment.

Constantine, a Seminole County Commissioner since 2012 and before that a Florida Senator, State Representative, Altamonte Springs Mayor, and City Commissioner, in a political career that dates to the late 1970s.

If Constantine represents the political old-school establishment of Seminole County, he also represents a bit of the loyal and respected opposition to some of the more extreme voices that occasionally emerge in an area that has trended from solid Republican to mixed. With a steadying voice and consistent viewpoint, he is the 22nd most powerful elected official in Central Florida, according to the debut survey for the Florida Politics Central Florida’s Most Powerful Politicians.

“Seminole County Commissioner Lee Constantine has been in public life since his stint as UCF student body president,” said Dana Loncar, public affairs specialist at Consensus Communications. “A Republican most known for his stand protecting Wekiva Springs and the environment, Lee is a master of bringing parties together to find solutions. He did it for years in Tallahassee and he continues it on the local level.”

Constantine, originally a journalist, has evolved into someone who still maintains a government watchdog mentality while also powering many of the gears of government and civic involvement.

It’s often Constantine who’s pushing back hardest against major Seminole County developments, such as River Cross, which would require major compromises in the county’s environmental preservation plans.

He’s in his fourth term as chairman of the Wekiva River Basin Commission, overseeing environmental cleanup and protection of Central Florida’s most fragile water basin. He’s on the executive board of 1,000 Friends of Florida, vice-chair of the Florida Conservation Coalition, and chair of the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council.

In addition, he chairs Charity Challenge Inc., an independent charity that has raised millions of dollars for hundreds of charities.

He’s also chair of the board of directors of the Central Florida Transit Authority, which runs the LYNX and LYMMO bus systems in Central Florida and will be in a critical position to define and benefit from Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings’ proposal for a dedicated transportation tax.

Constantine remains, as he has always been positioned to continue to play a key role in directing Central Florida’s growth.

Follow the list here, on Facebook and Twitter at #Top25inCF.

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 scott@floridapolitics.com.

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