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Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma wins re-election

Sheriff decides how crime is enforced, manages multi-million dollar budget

Sheriff Dennis Lemma wins his 2020 re-election bid. (WKMG 2020)

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Republican Dennis Lemma has been declared the winner of the Seminole County sheriff race with more than 58% of voters opting to re-elect Lemma.

With 79 out of 80 Seminole County precincts reporting on Election Night Lemma had 58% of the vote compared to the other candidate, Paul “Spike” Hopkins, with 42%.

[LIVE RACE RESULTS: Scroll to bottom of story to see all race returns]

Candidate

Votes

%

Dennis M. Lemma*(R)
146,28858%
Paul Spike Hopkins(D)
104,93442%
*Incumbent
100% of Precincts Reporting

(80 / 80)

RACE DETAILS BELOW

The voters of Seminole County have decided who will be their top cop going forward and decided to continue with Sheriff Dennis Lemma.

Both names had appeared on Central Florida ballots before. The Republican candidate, Dennis Lemma, has served as Seminole County sheriff since 2017 while Democrat Paul “Spike” Hopkins unsuccessfully ran for the role in Orange County in 2016.

Lemma will continue deciding how crime is enforced in Seminole County for the next four years and manage the sheriff’s office’s multi-million dollar budget.

Here’s what you need to know about the candidates:

Dennis Lemma (R)

Before he was re-elected, Dennis Lemma was a decades-long Seminole County resident who has served as sheriff since he was sworn in on Jan. 3, 2017. Before he was elected, he served as a deputy, a school resource officer, a sergeant of the Special Operations Section and an investigator for the crimes against children unit with law enforcement experience dating back to the 1990s. His goals for the office include reducing violent crime, fighting the opioid epidemic and committing to community policing. Lemma serves as the chair of a statewide drug abuse prevention panel and as the chair of Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Transition Advisory Committee Working Group on Opioid Abuse. Click here to learn more about Lemma.

Read more about Lemma’s opponent, Paul “Spike” Hopkins (D), below:

Paul “Spike” Hopkins is emerging from his retirement after 30 years in law enforcement in hopes of serving as the county’s next sheriff. He says concerns from deputies within the department and his vested interest in the community and its safety inspired him to put his name on the ballot. If elected, he’d like to hire and retain more deputies who in turn could patrol the streets, close unsolved homicide cases and create a smartphone app that would allow residents to know why deputies are responding to their neighborhood. Requiring every deputy to wear a body camera and creating a system that would assign certain deputies to certain neighborhoods so they can get to know the people who live there are a few policies he’d like to enact. Click here to learn more about Hopkins.