A closely watched race for St. Cloud City Council Seat 5 became a major victory for Keith Trace, a young up-and-coming engineer, who crushed incumbent Don Shroyer by snagging 64.6 percent of the vote.
Trace, who has been involved in the engineering, surveying and land development profession for 15 years, is married to Kelly Trace – president of a prominent marketing firm called Reach. The couple watched results come in alongside friends and supporters Tuesday night at downtown St. Cloud spot, Brews N Blues.
Although he’s never served as an elected official, Trace brings some political experience to his new position. He’s served as chairman of the Osceola County Affordable Housing Advisory Committee and currently represents St. Cloud on the MetroPlan Orlando Citizens Advisory Committee.
Trace’s campaign contributions outpaced Shroyer’s by more than three-to-one.
While one seat on the St. Cloud City Council changes, another stays the same.
Seat 4 incumbent and local businessman Dave Askew secured another four-year term with 61.6 percent of the vote, defeating challenger and Army veteran Anthony Busby.
In Kissimmee, political newcomer Felix Ortiz won a much-contested City Commission seat 2 spot with 61 percent of the vote against opponent Andrew Jeng.
Ortiz and Jeng were the top two victors of a four-way primary race in August, though votes for Ortiz more than doubled those cast for Jeng.
Ortiz, a local downtown business owner, maintained his primary momentum in the following weeks, despite allegations over residency requirements that dogged both candidates’ campaigns days before the General Election.
When results were tallied Tuesday night, Ortiz celebrated with friends, family and supporters at 3 Sisters’ Speakeasy - a block away from City Hall, where Ortiz will soon sit behind the dias.
“I’m ready and I’m excited,” the newly elected official said. “It’s been really hard, but we got it. I’m doing this to help people and I’m excited to get started.”
Ortiz will fill the city seat vacated by outgoing incumbent Wanda Rentas.
All city races are non-partisan.