Former Winter Garden Commissioner Bobby Olszewski filed Friday to run for the House of Representatives seat for District 44, covering much of western Orange County.

Olszewski, who ran unsuccessfully last year for the Orange County Commission, filed for the house seat that will be vacated by state Rep. Eric Eisnaugle, who is not running again.

First, Olszewski rounded up a strong list of supporters, including 30 local elected officials, mostly from western Orange County.

Two other candidates already have filed for that seat, including Republican Usha Jain of Orlando, who also ran unsuccessfully last year for the Orange County Commission, and Democrat Paul Jason Chandler of Orlando, a newcomer as a candidate.

“For me, growing up in Dr. Phillips and the West Orange County area shaped me into the person I am today,” Olszewski stated in a news release. “I went to school here, met my wife here, and we are raising our family here. It is my love for this community that drives me to want to serve our community in Tallahassee.

“From economic development to improving education and healthcare, our state faces many challenges and the way in which we address these issues will have a lasting effect upon West Orange County,” Olszewski continued. “That is why I will put every ounce of energy and passion into serving the people of District 44 and look forward to sharing my vision for Florida with the voters each and every day.”

In announcing his candidacy, Olszewski released a list of supporters who include Apopka Mayor Joe Kilsheimer, Ocoee Mayor Rusty Johnson, Windermere Mayor Gary Bruhn, Winter Garden Mayor John Rees, and 26 other city commissioners, school board members and other elected officials from those cities and others in Orange County.


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 Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused.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