Extra noise, voters surround mayor race


photo by Sophie Woodburn

Signs such as candidate Megan Sladek’s were found across Oviedo as a part of the race for mayor. Sladek won the election with 44% of the vote

When most people think of Election Day they think of the big ones: presidential and congressional elections, pushing aside local elections. But the 2019 Oviedo mayor election was unlike no other.
On Tuesday, Nov. 5, residents of Oviedo voted to replace mayor Dominic Persampiere and City Council member Steve Henken, both of whom decided not to run again.
On the ballot this year was Randy Core, Megan Sladek and Emma Reichert. Megan Sladek won the mayoral race with 44% of the popular vote and Judith Dolores-Smith won the city council seat with 56%.
This round of political candidates used a more modern approach and attacked each other on social media like Facebook. Many supporters and people close to campaigns targeted other supporters or the candidates specifically.
Reichert owns the Oviedo 32765 private Facebook page, one of the community’s most popular social media forums. Members of the community can ask and answer questions about many topics regarding things that affect the community, and in some cases air out grievances and concerns that develop into heated social media discussions.
A lot of the scandal regarding the election not only took effect on social media platform, but also through the mail. An explicit photo of candidate Reichert with the caption “Emma has a secret” was sent throughout the mail to every Oviedo resident just days before Election Day.
Sladek may have been set apart from other candidates because of her appeal to many families in Oviedo. She has two kids that attend Oviedo public schools, which would provide her with an understanding of the concerns of families and working parents.
On the ballot for Oviedo City Council was Barry Cammack and Judith Dolores-Smith. This election did not gain as much publicity because of the controversy and attention surrounding the mayoral election.
The winner of the Council seat, Dolores-Smith, is a third generation Oviedo resident. Her many ties to the community and work with the people of Oviedo stretched very far, building a base of voters she needed to secure the election.
She even got the vote of first time voter, senior Sergio Alcala.
“She seemed like the best for the job,” said Alcala. “I wanted more diversity [on the city council].”
Both Dolores-Smith and Sladek own small businesses and attended Oviedo schools.
Dolores-Smith attended Jackson Heights Elementary Colored School until 1967 when the schools were integrated, while Sladek was valedictorian of Oviedo High School in 1997.
Dolores-Smith and her husband own a variety of businesses, including a cake shop called Cakes by Judith and Gladys, a janitorial service, and a computer hardware and software consulting service. Sladek owns Wolfshead Real Estate.
Another big concern for this election was Oviedo’s growth. Both Sladek and Dolores-Smith also do not want to develop the plot of land across from Oviedo on the Park, which was a big concern and hot topic in this election. This may have also given both women an advantage over Core.
With the introduction of new leadership, 2020 is going to be a big year for politics not only locally, but because of the presidential election and many other elections occurring nation, state and county wide.
Florida residents will be voting for state house districts 28, 29 and 30 next November, as well as Senate District 9 and the state Supreme Court.
Seminole County residents will vote for the tax collector, supervisor of elections, clerk of the court and comptroller, county court judge group 6 and county commissioner District 3 and 5.
As of now there will be no more elections for the city of Oviedo.