Three women who are newcomers to elected office won seats Tuesday night on the Orange County Commission, although one race is being decided by just 100 votes and will be heading toward a recount.

In Orange County District 4 covering southeast Orange County, Maribel Gomez Cordero took a 100-vote victory over Susan Makowski in a district where all precincts had reported by 9:30 p.m. Cordero’s victory, if it holds, stands as a major upset, as Makowski is a former longtime aide to the incumbent, Commissioner Jennifer Thompson.

In District 2, Christine Moore defeated Patricia Rumph by a spread of 55 percent to 45 percent, representing northwest Orange County.

In a District 3 special election, longtime activist Mayra Uribe defeated Pete Crotty, 57 percent to 43 percent. That seat represents south-central Orange County and opened because incumbent Pete Clarke ran unsuccessfully for Orange County Mayor. So Uribe won a two-year term.

The elections, if Cordero’s hold gives Democrats solid control of the Orange County Commission for the first time in more than 20 years. Cordero and Uribe are Democrats. Together with Jerry Demings, who was elected Mayor in August, and Victoria Siplin, who was re-elected in District 6 in August, Democrats now hold five of the seven seats.

Moore is a Republican.

The commission and the elections officially are non-partisan, but the parties pushed hard for their candidates nonetheless.

“Orange County is now a blue county solidly!” proclaimed Orange County Democratic Chair Wes Hodge.

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 Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused.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

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