Pam Gould to run for Orange County Commission

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The School Board member is running for Nicole Wilson's District 1 seat.

Orange County School Board member Pam Gould wants to shift to the County Commission. The three-term School Board member announced she’s running for the District 1 seat.

“I’m more than excited to announce my candidacy for Orange County Commissioner for District 1 — I’m ready to take action starting Day One,” Gould said. “Every stage of my life, personally and professionally, has been in preparation to serve as District 1 Orange County Commissioner and every organization I have led has provided me insight into the issues and the ability to effect change that improves District 1.”

Gould first won election to the Orange County School Board in 2012, and she has won re-election twice since. In 2020, she defeated Prince Brown with 59% of the vote.

The Windermere politician faces Austin Andrew Arthur, a Winter Garden businessman who filed in January.

The seat is held now by Nicole Wilson, a Democrat, who is expected to seek re-election. Wilson defeated incumbent Betsey VanderLey in 2020.

“I am a champion for driving economic prosperity by increasing students’ access to skills-based learning, certifications and apprenticeships that ready them for a successful life and career,” Gould said. “I’m a firm believer that we achieve our greatest successes when we bring together private, public and grassroots entities for partnerships that match students with jobs they could never have imagined even exist in a rapidly changing economic environment.”

Gould stressed her background working with children and families in her elected office and in her day job. Gould is the former president and CEO of Shepherd’s Hope, a free health care clinic for the uninsured. During her tenure, the organization secured a multimillion-dollar endowment through Healthy West Orange. She also led the organization through the COVID-19 pandemic.

She also held executive positions with Orlando Health, Health Central/Health Central Foundation, Island One Resorts, DL Foundation and Dave’s House.

Gould previously owned a business that subcontracted with other entities including the Town of Oakland Health West Orange Arts and Heritage Center, Lakeside Behavioral Health, ARDA Foundation, the West Orange Chamber of Commerce and Winter Garden Heritage Foundation.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


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