Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer is endorsing Democrat Allie Braswell in the contest for the open seat in House District 45 in Orange and Osceola counties.
Braswell is a diversity consultant, former Marine and former president of the Central Florida Urban League from Winter Garden. He’s vying for the critical seat representing a district that includes Walt Disney World and most of the Disney region. There are no other Democrats currently filed.
There also are five Republicans running, some of them with high profiles and significant backing: Carolina Amesty of Windermere, Vennia Francois of Windermere, Janet Frevola of Orlando, Bruno Portigliatti of Orlando, and Mike Zhao of Windermere.
The newly reconfigured HD 45 has already been attracting not just big endorsements but early big campaign money, including huge candidate loans, reflecting the perceived high stakes of the Disney-centered district. There is no incumbent in the field.
Dyer is a Democrat, but his endorsement likely would carry more than just Democratic support, as the longtime Mayor cuts across partisan lines in his political appeal. The same may be true with Orange County Sheriff John Mina, who endorsed Braswell last month.
The district covers Disney, Windermere, Winter Garden and part of the Dr. Phillips community in southwestern Orange. It also reaches to the Four Corners community and Celebration in northwestern Osceola. Democrats are likely to have a slight voter registration advantage, based on results of the past couple of General Elections.
“Allie has devoted his career to helping people and making his community stronger,” Dyer said in a news release issued by Braswell’s campaign. “He believes passionately in public service and helping others, and he will be a tireless advocate for his constituents. We would be lucky to have him in the Florida Legislature and I look forward to working with him.”
In response, Braswell said, “I am incredibly grateful for Mayor Dyer’s endorsement and appreciate all the work he’s done for the city of Orlando and for the greater metropolitan area. As a member of the Legislature, I will support his efforts to further innovate here in Orlando and grow our economy. “