In front of a live crowd at the Apopka Community Center, and others watching on live stream, Wes Dumey, Eric Mock, Nick Nesta and Commissioner Diane Velazquez expressed their ideas and vision in a forum sponsored by the Apopka Area Chamber of Commerce.
It was the first time all four candidates for the city commission squared off in the same event. In seat #2 incumbent Velazquez is challenged by first-time candidate Dumey. Mock is taking on Nesta for the open seat #4, vacated by Commissioner Kyle Becker, who is running for Mayor of Apopka.
Dumey and Mock qualified for Seat #2 and Seat #4 on the day before the period ended to run for office in Apopka. Commissioner Alexander Smith, who was up for re-election in 2022, was unopposed.
All four candidates shared the stage in the 72-minute forum, which was a cordial affair that created very few disagreements between the candidates. The moderator, Laverne McGee of the Black News Channel, went through 10 unique questions received from residents that sometimes seemed more befitting of an essay prompt.
While tomorrow we'll take a look at the range of questions asked and responses, the candidates' closing statements provide a good flyover of their positions and sentiments on the City.
"I'm kind of happy that everyone here is agreeing that Apopka is very unique," said Velazquez in her closing statement. "It's a beautiful town. It's a growing town, and it has a lot of potential. And what we need to do is to continue to work with our community to have an open forum where they can feel just as valued in their opinions and their comments and their solutions in their ideas. That's something that I have always advocated for - the importance of local elections, we affect your life every day."
To learn more about Velazquez, go here.
"Apopka has been and is a growing community," said Mock in his closing statement. "Apopka has gone through growing pains throughout its history. I think it's going through growing pains now. And I think that the leadership that's here, and the commission that's here... they have a vision. It takes everyone to raise the ship, to be the tide that raises that ship. I want to be part of that. I want to be part of that process here in Apopka and that vision."
To learn more about Mock, go here.
"I truly do believe in the city," said Nesta in his closing statement. "We have so much potential to grow in sustainable ways, enhancing lifestyles for all citizens. I pledged to maintain open communication, be fiscally responsible, be a true advocate for citizens, champion sustainable growth and build strong community partnerships."
To learn more about Nesta, go here.
"I love this town," said Dumey in his closing statement. "One thing I don't want to see Apopka become is another generic suburb of the Orlando area. I always want to make sure to preserve our heritage. I don't want to wake up in four years, and say, gosh, you know, maybe we could have done things differently. And that's why I decided to run for this role, because I think we can do things differently."
To learn more about Dumey, go here.
The Apopka Voice will have more on the city commission forum tomorrow.
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