Shan Rose, Travaris McCurdy hurl attacks ahead of Orlando Special Election

rose mcCurdy
A Special Election on Tuesday will decide who fills Regina Hill's seat.

A race to choose a new Orlando City Commissioner will be decided in a Special Election Tuesday, June 18. And the battle between former state Rep. Travaris McCurdy and community redevelopment leader Shannon Rose has grown increasingly personal.

The two were the top vote-getters in the first election in May. The winner will serve out the term of suspended City Commissioner Regina Hill representing District 5.

Rose said she feels confident as the top vote-getter in the May election, but also feels the tenseness of the runoff.

“I have felt attacked since the day after the election,” she said.

That included people questioning her employment history. Within days of the first election, News 6 reported that she had been terminated from a city job, and also raised questions about prior experience in the private sector.

Meanwhile, a website was set up at with negative information about McCurdy’s background. The website detailed drug and weapon possession arrests dating back nearly 20 years and evidence he later claimed in a job application he had not been found guilty of a crime. It also raised questions about his educational background and whether he has dodged child support payments. Ahead of the election, McCurdy issued a press conference saying opponents were trying to push him out of the race, saying Rose had told him information would not be published if he conceded the race.

“They want to blackmail a Black male,” McCurdy posted on social media. “I vowed from the start to run my race with integrity while, unfortunately, I haven’t been afforded the same in return. I can no longer sit back and allow my name to be maliciously attacked with slander, defamation and harassment.”

McCurdy does go into the election with the support of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, saying the lawmaker demonstrated “a strong commitment to advocating for his constituents and supporting important programs like Parramore Kidz Zone.”

Rose suggested the Mayor’s support simply signals McCurdy will continue a status quo in the district.

“I feel like the voters, the residents and the businesses of this community stand behind me and with me,” she said. She noted she has secured endorsements from the Orlando Builders Association and from local labor unions and has the background to address issues like affordable housing that have hurt Orlando residents in their pocketbooks.

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

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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