By Rachel Christian

Staff Writer

The 2018 Hob Nob gave Osceola County residents a peek at the upcoming election Thursday night at Osceola Heritage Park. Political newcomers like Shel Hart stood beside booths to mingle with attendees and share highlights of their platform.

“I have two 3-year-old twins getting ready to enter the Osceola County school system,” said Hart, who is hoping to snag a long-occupied seat on the School Board. “I want to put a focus on improving our vocational programs and look more closely at streamlining the school district’s budget.”

Both sides of the political spectrum were represented at the event, from Democratic County Commission incumbent Viviana Janer to vocal Trump supporter Wayne Liebnitzky, who will square off as the Republican candidate for a U.S. congress seat currently held by Rep. Darren Soto.

“I want to put a lot of emphasis and attention on the Kissimmee airport,” Liebnitzky said. “We need more jobs and industry in Osceola County instead of people commuting everywhere else for work.”

The annual event is hosted by the Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce to serve as a networking opportunity for candidates, voters and business owners. Food and socializing took place in the middle of the convention floor as a video montage of all current local candidates played on a large monitor in the background. Local companies were also present at the event, renting out booths among the candidates. The Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) handed out free ice cream sandwiches and invited hob nob attendees to check out solar power technology inside one of the company’s vehicles.

Osceola County primaries take place Aug. 28 with the final day to register to vote on July 30. In anticipation of the upcoming election, a special “straw ballot” was taken at the hob nob, where attendees cast a preemptive vote for their favorite candidate.

2018 Straw Ballot results

Governor (candidates receiving 3 percent or more)

• Ron DeSantis – 9 percent

• Andrew Gillum – 8 percent

• Gwen Graham – 16 percent

• Jeff Greene – 3 percent

• Chris King – 5 percent

• Philip Levine – 15 percent

• Adam H. Putnam – 36 percent

• Bob White – 3 percent

U.S. Representative

• Alan Grayson – 8 percent

• Wayne Liebnitzky – 41 percent

• Darren Soto – 52 percent

State Representatives, District 39

• Ricky Shirah – 43 percent

• Josie Tomkow – 57 percent

State representative, District 42

• Barbara Cady – 32 percent

• Mike LaRosa – 68 percent

Circuit judge (Group 15), 9th judicial circuit

• Jeff Ashton – 68 percent

• Howard Friedman – 32 percent

Circuit Judge –

Group 26, 9th judicial circuit

• Joseph Haynes Davis – 44 percent

• Tom Young – 56 percent

Circuit Judge – Group 41, 9th judicial circuit

• Lorraine Elizabeth DeYoung – 8 percent

• Dean Mosley – 25 percent

• Laura Shaffer – 67 percent

Osceola County Judge Group 1

• Christine E. Arendas – 49 percent

• Ernie Mullins – 22 percent

• Danny Villazon – 29 percent

County Commission

District 2

• Rolando Banasco – 3 percent

• Viviana Janer – 44 percent

• Janette Martinez – 8 percent

• Wanda Rentas – 44 percent

County Commission

District 4

• Wilfredo “Will” Fonseca – 7 percent

• Will Gonzalez – 2 percent

• Cheryl Grieb – 62 percent

• Adam Michelin – 29 percent

School Board , District 1

• Teresa “Terry” Castillo – 52 percent

• Shel Hart – 48 percent

Kissimmee City Commission , Seat 2

• Reginald Hardee – 29 percent

• Hong “Andrew” Jeng – 18 percent

• Steven Mullis – 13 percent

• Felix Ortiz – 40 percent

Kissimmee City Commission, Seat 4

• Jim Fisher – 79 percent

• Lisandra Roman – 21 percent

St. Cloud City Council, Seat 4

• Dave Askew – 72 percent

• Anthony Busby – 28 percent

St. Cloud City Council, Seat 5

• Don Shroyer – 32 percent

• Keith Trace – 68 percent