Winter Garden Commissioner Robert “Bobby O” Olszewski qualified by petition for the Orange County ballot as a candidate for the county commission District 1 seat, his campaign announced Wednesday.

Wednesday morning Orange County Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles informed Olszewski that 1,515 of the 1,661 signatures the campaign submitted had been certified. Olszewski needed 1,240 to qualify.

“This is such a momentous milestone for our campaign to be the first to qualify by petition in the Orange County District 1 Commission race because of the multitude of volunteers promoting our message of Residents and Community First. We handed in our petitions before Super Tuesday which is a testament to our outstanding grassroots community support and ground-game considering we entered this race nine months after our opponent,” Olszewski stated in a news release issued by his campaign.

He faces three other candidates, most notably Betsy Kay VanderLey.

About The Author

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 Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused.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

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