Local Democrats are launching a drive to bring partisan elections back to Orange County’s high-profile races for mayor and its six county commissioners.
Party chairman and state Rep. Scott Randolph is leading the push, saying voters should have a clearer picture of who the candidates are and what they believe.
“Voters actually want to know what their local elected officials’ value base is,” said Randolph, D-Orlando.
Orange voters turned these contests into non-partisan affairs in a 1992 ballot question pushed at that time by — oddly enough — Democrats. Since then, Democrats have grown to outnumber Republicans 43 percent to 30 percent in voter registration.
Yet Democrats are outnumbered 6-1 on the county’s non-partisan elected board, where GOP Mayor Teresa Jacobs and five Republicans control the agenda.
Democrats are working to change that. During early voting that starts Oct. 27, they plan to start collecting 35,000 voter signatures needed to get the referendum on the 2014 ballot. By Election Day, they hope to have most of them. And if approved by voters, it could take affect for the 2016 elections.