State lawmakers shuffled the political deck when they redrew congressional and legislative districts earlier this year. Two new state House districts in Orange County, 47 and 45, created opportunities for some newcomers, as well as for some familiar faces.
Registered Republicans hold a slight edge over Democrats in this district, which heads fromWinter Park south through downtown Orlando to Conway, but its voters narrowly chose Democrat Barack Obama over Republican John McCain in the 2008 election.
After her eight years on the Orange County Commission, and her unsuccessful bid for county mayor in 2010, Democrat Linda Stewart of Orlando shouldn’t have to introduce herself to most voters. Her opponent, Republican Bob Brooks of Winter Park, also is a former officeholder, though fewer voters would remember his three terms in the state House in the 1990s. Brooks seems to be counting on that.
As a county commissioner, Stewart distinguished herself for her leadership on two critical issues for Central Florida, growth management and diversifying the region’s economy. She helped bring the Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute to the Medical City in Lake Nona. And while her positions on issues such as state spending — she couldn’t tell us an area in the