Orange County Sheriff John Mina is running for re-election, this time campaigning as a Democrat.
Mina, elected in November as an independent candidate to fill the last two years of Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings‘ unexpired term as Sheriff, filed Wednesday for re-election in the 2020 election, for a full term.
Mina’s choice to run as a Democrat reflects several things, not the least of which being the chaotic situation he and the Orange County Democratic Party faced when a candidate the party establishment did not want and refused to support, Darryl Sheppard, came within five points of getting elected in November.
Mina, the former Orlando chief of police, and retired Florida Highway Patrol Chief Jose Lopez both ran as independent candidates last fall, even though both were registered Democrats. That’s because both became Democrats too late to qualify for the 2018 ballot as such. In a county where Democrats dominate voter registration, Sheppard, whose only professional law enforcement experience was an arrest record, won the Democratic nomination by default. And no Republicans ran. Sheppard, with little money and no establishment support, managed to attract 41 percent of the votes in the general election, presumably largely through party-line votes.
The 2020 election will be for a full four-year term.
The only other candidate thus far is former Eatonville Police Officer Eric McIntyre, who briefly was chief of that town’s police in 2015.