OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – Former deputy-sergeant Marco Lopez beat Sheriff Russ Gibson in the Democratic primary election, defeating the incumbent to secure his spot on the November ballot.
It was a tight race, with Lopez being declared the winner with a narrow lead of less than 500 votes. Lopez secured 36% of the total votes, 9,414 to be exact, while Gibson, the Democratic incumbent racked up only 34% of the total votes, or 8,986.
LIVE RACE RESULTS:
Marco Lopez (D)
Russ Gibson *(D)
Mike Fisher (D)
(98 / 98)
Lopez will move on to face Luis “Tony” Fernandez, an independent candidate, in the general election.
[2020 VOTER GUIDE: Everything you need to know ahead of Florida’s primary election]
Meet the candidates:
Sheriff Russ Gibson was elected Osceola County sheriff in November 2016 and took office in 2017, and hopes to continue serving the residents of Osceola County for another term. During his term leading the more than 800 men and women of the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, Gibson said many things have been accomplished but that there’s “much more work to be done.” Gibson said he’s committed to continuing to be tough on crime, showing respect and compassion to victims, especially for those that have no voice, and continuing to bridge partnerships between the sheriff’s office and the diverse communities that make up Osceola County. Learn more about Gibson’s reelection campaign here.
A 39-year resident of Kissimmee and former law enforcement officer himself, Mike Fisher is no stranger to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office. In fact, he retired from the agency as a captain in 2016 after working in almost every area of the sheriff’s office, according to his campaign site. Fisher said if elected, he’d work to make the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office the top law enforcement agency in Florida by bringing its primary focus back to policing. He also hopes to do more to engage the community’s youth, address homelessness, make Osceola’s tourism corridor a safer place for guests and residents and work to improve accountability and transparency to citizens. Click here to learn more about Fisher and his campaign.
Like his opponents, Marco Lopez is very familiar with the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office after spending more than 16 years with the agency as a deputy-sergeant. Now, though, it is his hope that the people of Osceola County will choose him to be the agency’s next leader. If they do, the U.S. Navy veteran says transparency and accountability will be at the heart of his administration. Lopez said his other priorities as sheriff would include the establishment of a citizens advisory board and a citizens review board, improved cultural diversity training and the development of youth outreach programs that promote community policing. Click here to learn more about Lopez and his vision for Osceola County.
Florida’s primary is Aug. 18.
You can learn more about the primary and what races you can expect to see on your ballot with ClickOrlando.com’s complete 2020 voter guide.