Glen Gilzean stays mums on future plans, controversies at Winter Park forum
Glen Gilzean Jr.

'Answer the question!'

Is Glen Gilzean running for Orange County Supervisor of Elections after he was appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis to the open job?

Does Gilzean want to comment on the bad headlines in the Orlando Sentinel?

Stories in recent weeks include candidates upset about how Gilzean is running the office and news that he’s receiving a $20,000-a-month consulting check from Disney World’s Governing Board.

Gilzean didn’t address any of the big elephants in the room Wednesday as he spoke briefly to a League of Women Voters (LWV) of Orange County forum held in Winter Park.

Gilzean highlighted that his Office added more four precincts and adjusted seven polling locations to “ensure that every voice is heard.” The move affects about 25,000 voters in Lake Nona, Apopka and Dr. Phillips, he said.

“My office is dedicated to empowering our community as we shape the future,” said Gilzean, whom DeSantis previously appointed to be the Administrator of Disney World’s Central Florida Tourism Oversight District nearly a year ago.

Then Gilzean sat back down and LWV’s Hot Topics forum began the Q&A, with the five candidates currently running for Elections Supervisor after veteran elections chief Bill Cowles retired in January. Gilzean did not participate in the discussion.

When questions opened up from the crowd, one person asked directly if Gilzean was planning on running for a full-term as Supervisor. The Friday noon deadline is ticking.

“I’m confused,” the audience member said of Gilzean’s presence. “Is he going to be a candidate by Friday or not?”

“Answer the question!” several in the crowd shouted, while others applauded.

LWV President Kathy Schmitz stepped up to the microphone to intervene and said Gilzean agreed to attend as his role of current Supervisor of Elections. LWV asked him not to declare his candidacy at the Wednesday event, she said. She urged them to move on.

The Election Supervisor race already includes five Democrats: Karen Castor-Dentel, Sunshine Linda Marie Grund, Cynthia Harris, Dan Helm and Wesley Hodge.

Gabrielle Russon

Gabrielle Russon is an award-winning journalist based in Orlando. She covered the business of theme parks for the Orlando Sentinel. Her previous newspaper stops include the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Toledo Blade, Kalamazoo Gazette and Elkhart Truth as well as an internship covering the nation’s capital for the Chicago Tribune. For fun, she runs marathons. She gets her training from chasing a toddler around. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @GabrielleRusson .

One comment

  • J. LaMoreaux

    June 14, 2024 at 7:36 am

    you left off he was booed, called a coward and shamed. his picture was included in the gallery of candidates, yet he and his office refused to answer any questions. he was also met with VERY tepid applause when he was introduced, yet the other candidates were met with loud prolonged applause. it was one wild meeting!

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