Central Florida hotel group backs Jerry Demings for second term

Jerry Demings
Central Florida hoteliers back incumbents for new County Commission terms.

The Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association is backing Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and other incumbents across Central Florida for re-elections to new terms.

The association’s political action committee and political committee, representing a huge business sector across Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties, backed incumbents in all seven County Commission races in those counties.

“CFHLA PAC and PC is extremely excited to support this diverse and effective group of bipartisan candidates throughout the 2022 election cycle,” said Jay Leonard, general manager of the Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs Resort Area, and the Chairman of the CFHLA PAC and PC.

“Each of these pro-hospitality candidates fought for the tourism and hospitality industry over the past two years and helped ensure our region’s ability to safely rebound and recover much quicker than much of the country.”

In Orange County, the hotel and lodging political committees endorsed Demings for County Mayor, and incumbent Commissioners Christina Moore in District 2 and Maribel Gomez Cordero in District 4.

The elections and positions are officially nonpartisan, though Demings and Gomez Cordero are Democrats and Moore a Republican. Demings faces Chris Messina, Tony Sabb and Kelly Semrad. Moore faces Christopher Delgado and Sandra Fatmi-Hall. Gomez Cordero faces Mercedes Fonseca and Karl Anthony Norton Pearson.

In Osceola County, the groups endorsed County Commissioners Viviana Janer for a third term in District 2 and Cheryl Grieb for a third in District 4.

Both are Democrats, and the elections and offices are partisan. Janer faces independent candidate Beulah “Rosita” Farquharson. Grieb faces two other Democrats, Jackie Espinoza and Carlos L. Irizarry, Sr.

In Seminole County, the association’s political committees endorsed County Commissioners Jay Zembower for a second term in District 2 and Amy Lockhart for a second in District 4.

Both are Republicans, and the elections and offices are partisan. Zembower faces Democrat Katrina Shadix and Republican Brittany Walker. Lockhart faces independent candidate Patricia Lynn Smith.

The 2022 Primary Elections will be held Aug. 23, and the General Elections, Nov. 8. In Orange County, all the candidates will face off in the Primary Election. If no one wins a majority there, the top two would go on to the General Election.

Scott Powers

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 [email protected].


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