State Rep. Rene Plasencia endorsed Orlando Commissioner Jim Gray for the District 1 commission seat Tuesday.

“I’m proud to support Commissioner Jim Gray for reelection,” Plasencia said in a statement issued by Gray’s campaign. “Jim works hard to recruit new jobs for the district, while making sure that we protect existing neighborhoods from growth and increase Orlando Police Department officers to keep our citizens safe.”

The representative added, “Jim Gray also knows that we must work to decrease traffic congestion and make Orlando even better prepared for next year’s hurricane season.”

Plasencia, who is known as “Coach P” because of his legendary status as a track and cross country coach at Colonial High School, lives in southeast Orlando. While he’s just outside Gray’s district, many of his former students and their families live in District 1.

Commissioner Gray said he is honored to receive the endorsements of both Plasencia and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.

“We’ve been able to work together in a bipartisan way that makes a difference for our citizens,” Gray said. “Together, we are also working hard to help our friends and family members from Puerto Rico in the aftermath of the horrible destruction from Hurricane Maria.”

About The Author

The youngest of seven children, Terry O. Roen followed two older brothers into journalism. Her career started as a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, where she wrote stories on city and county government, schools, courts and religion. She has also reported for the Associated Press, where she covered the Casey Anthony and Trayvon Martin trials along with the Pulse massacre. Married to her husband, Hal, they have two children and live in Winter Park. A lifelong tourist in her own state, she writes about Central Florida’s growing tourism industry for Florida Politics and Orlando Rising.

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