ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County residents will either reelect their current sheriff or choose to give someone else a chance to be the county’s next top cop this November.
After beating four other Democrats in the August primary, Orange County Sheriff John Mina will be the only big name on the ballot in the general election but still faces two qualifying write-in candidates, Tim Lucas Adams and Winston Johnson, who are also hoping for a chance to lead the Orange County’s Sheriff’s Office.
The candidate elected to the position will have a lot of responsibility.
Made up of more than 2,500 employees, including 1,600 sworn officers, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office is the largest law enforcement agency in Central Florida. The agency is responsible for the safety of more than 1.2 million residents and more than 72 million tourists that visit Orange County each year, according to its Facebook page.
Before you cast your ballot, here’s what you need to know about each candidate:
John Mina (D)
Mina became the 29th elected sheriff of Orange County in November 2018, when he won a special election to replace former Sheriff Jerry Demings after Demings was elected Orange County Mayor. In that race, he ran without any party affiliation.
The incumbent, now a registered Democrat, is a lifelong public servant and no stranger to the Central Florida community. Before his role as sheriff, Mina spent 28 years with the Orlando Police Department. In 2014, he was appointed chief of police. In that role, he helped the city navigate its way through some of its darkest times, including the mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub and the dayslong manhunt for accused cop killer Markeith Loyd. Before beginning his career in law enforcement, Mina served his country as a military police officer with the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army.
Mina’s priorities as sheriff, according to his campaign page, are making Orange County a better and safer place, building greater connections and trust throughout the community and ensuring deputies have the best training, equipment and technology available. In 2019 and under Mina’s leadership, Orange County saw a drop in its overall crime rate.
While some might think his experience as Orange County sheriff already under his belt will help his campaign, some might argue that it hurts it, as a survey from earlier this year revealed morale was low at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office under Mina’s leadership. In early July, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 93 posted the survey results, which show 73% of employees in the union say morale is low or very low. According to the survey, 67.3% believe Mina has not delivered on his campaign promises or has gone against them. The survey also showed 98.2% believe he has not fulfilled or partially fulfilled his own campaign promises. The union said 674 investigators filled out the survey.
You can read read more about Mina’s career as Orange County sheriff and the issues that matter most to him here.
Tim Lucas Adams (WRI)
Tim Lucas Adams, a write-in candidate on the November ballot, is running to become the next sheriff of Orange County. Details about Adams’ campaign were not immediately available.
Winston Johnson (WRI)
Winston Johnson, a write-in candidate on the November ballot, is running to become the next sheriff of Orange County. Details about Johnson’s campaign were not immediately available.
Election Day is Nov. 3.