Who is Lee Constantine?

Lee Constantine and his family moved to Seminole County in 1958. His mother and father were the founders of Maryland Fired Chicken and opened the first store in Fern Park. Constantine started at the age of 12 washing dishes and by 16 he had become the store manager of the Sanford restaurant. During his high school years he was the captain of the swim team at Lyman High School, and in college was elected Student Body President, graduating from the University of Central Florida.

Since 2012, Constantine has served as a Seminole County Commissioner, being reelected without opposition in 2016.

Among Constantine’s legislative and governing skills, he has been heralded for his abilities in brokering compromise, his “mastery” of the complicated state budget process, as well as his direction and guidance in areas of education, the environment and economic development. In addition to leadership acumen through governance, Constantine applies his knowledge and perspective through a weekly column he writes in the Orlando Sentinel’s Central Florida 100 Editorial page as one of “Central Florida’s most influential people in government, politics and culture.” Professionally, Constantine serves as a business consultant for high-level corporations on real estate and a wide range of other issues.

Beyond his work as Commissioner, Constantine serves the community in a variety of ways, including through his fifth term as Chairman of the Wekiva River Basin Commission, honoring his commitment to protect the Wekiva River while building the beltway around Central Florida; he currently serves as the Vice-Chairman of the Florida Conservation Coalition; and is active on the Executive Board of 1000 Friends of Florida. His community engagement extends back to when he became the 1st Vice President of the Florida Association of Counties (where he has served as Chairman of the Growth Management, Agriculture, Transportation & Environment Committee and the Water Policy Task Force) and served as Chairman of LYNX (Central Florida’s regional public transit system) in 2019, where he continues to be engaged on the Lynx Board. He is a current member, and recent past Chair, of the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council and is also a recent past Chair of the Florida Regional Planning Council.

One of the most evident examples of Constantine’s passion for community service is seen through his work as Founder and Chairman of Charity Challenge, Inc., established in 1987. Since its inception, Charity Challenge, an all-volunteer organization, has evolved from a small backyard event into the largest independent charity in Central Florida, raising over $6.4 million for hundreds of Florida charities.

Priority issues for Constantine in serving the residents of Seminole County include:

  • Protecting and defending the Rural Boundary
  • Protect quality of life, including recreational and passive parks, the ‘A’ rated school system, high-quality healthcare facilities, and well-planned communities
  • Advocating for and leading through fiscal conservative values, such as not raising property taxes
  • Serving through principled leadership and passion to improve the future of Seminole County

Interview questions and Constantine’s responsesIf re-elected to this position, and if COVID-19 is still going strong, what would you do to make sure your vision for and effectiveness as a leader for and with the community stays on track and makes a difference?

“As a member of your county commission, I voted to provide small business grants (over $11 million) to those businesses in Seminole County who are struggling during these uncertain times. In addition, we directed CARES Act dollars to provide a financial boost to our ‘A’ rated school system and distributed economic assistance to working families in the community. If re-elected, I will continue to look for unique opportunities, such as the ones stated above, to keep Seminole County on track and prospering.”

What have you been doing that is unique to let voters know who you are and what you are about since campaigning during COVID-19 (mid-March to present)?

“With COVID-19 curtailing traditional forms of campaigning this election cycle, I’ve mixed old school methods like telephone calls and mailings with new school tactics like social media, email blasts, and zoom meetings to communicate with voters.”

What has been a highlight during your experience running for this position? 

“I’ve lived in Seminole County for over 50 years and I am passionate about our beautiful home and our unique way of life. I’m honored to have served our community as your county commissioner these last eight years. While campaigning, I love meeting Seminole County residents who enjoy living, playing, and working here just as much as I do!”

What do you see as the greatest challenge facing your district?

“Meeting the economic and public safety challenges as we continue to face the current crisis of COVID-19 – as well as the aftermath of the virus.”

What is your #1 hope for Seminole County that you would love to make a reality if re-elected? 

“I want to continue to protect and defend the Rural Boundary as well as our quality of life in Seminole County, so it remains our “Natural Choice.””

What would you like to say to voters who have not decided who they will vote for yet?

“As your county commissioner, I will wake up every day working for you and provide, as I have throughout my career, principled leadership.  LIKE my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Constantine4Seminole) and FOLLOW me on twitter (https://twitter.com/Lee4Seminole) to stay up-to-date on my campaign and I humbly ask for your vote on (or before) Tuesday, August 18.”

Notable Endorsements

Seminole County Professional Firefighters; Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association; Orlando Regional Realtor Association; Orlando Sentinel Editorial Board; Greater Orlando Builders Association; NAIOP of Florida – Central Florida Chapter; BusinessForce

About the process: The Seminole Source emailed the same six questions to all candidates running in the offices and positions outlined above, if their email address was listed. In cases where no email was provided, we left a voicemail requesting their email, and /or sent a message on Facebook requesting it if no phone number was provided. There were a few candidates that provided no contact information at all. The response deadline was given equally to all candidates. Biographical information and history was pulled from the candidate’s campaign website and / or Facebook page.

The Seminole Source: Lee Constantine Profile

Early Voting in Seminole County begins Saturday, August 8th and runs through Saturday, August 15th from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (8 days of Early Voting)

Casselberry Library
215 N Oxford Rd
Casselberry, FL 32707

Lake Mary Library
580 Green Way Blvd
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Supervisor of Elections
1500 East Airport Boulevard
Sanford, FL

Oviedo Aquatic Center
148 Oviedo Blvd
Oviedo, FL 32765

Sanford Library
150 N Palmetto Ave
Sanford, FL 32771

Wekiva Library
245 N Hunt Club Blvd
Longwood, FL 32779

Oviedo Library
310 N Division St
Oviedo, FL 32765

Seminole County Early Voting Locations

By Lee Constantine
July 31, 2020

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Over the past four months, no organizations have worked harder than Florida’s Emergency Operation Centers. For more than 130 days, they have been activated, 24/7, to deal with the health-related complications of COVID-19. Now, these same folks have to shift and add to their assignment preparation for the effects of a possible Category 1 hurricane. As Isaias approaches, sandbag distribution and mobilization of personnel all have to be coordinated while adjusting for social distancing, face-masks and medical staff needed at potential shelter locations. Words are inadequate to appreciate the double-duty of our Emergency Management and Public Safety workers, but let’s try: Thank you!

Central Florida 100 (7/31/20)

July 29, 2020

The COVID-19 virus is testing our resolve, and the numbers here in Florida tell an extremely concerning story.

By every key metric, our state has recently been reaching record levels on an almost daily basis. These include the number of new COVID-19 cases, and the percentage of those tested for COVID-19 who are positive. Our hospitalization rates are alarming. Since March 1, Florida has reported more than 400,000 COVID-19 total cases and over 5,500 deaths.

As leaders serving Florida, we are urgently asking our community to join us in renewing our commitment to following safety guidelines, recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to stop the spread of COVID-19 and prevent more people from getting infected, becoming sick or unfortunately even dying. We all need to take personal responsibility to do the right thing for ourselves and one another to avoid our community experiencing an even more severe impact from COVID-19 like we have seen in other parts of our country.

The most effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to avoid being exposed in the first place. There are simple steps we can take to effectively reduce the risk of transmission and turn the tide in our community.

1. Wear a mask when you’re outside of your home. Wearing masks should not be a controversial or a divisive issue. Masks can help save lives, just like seatbelts, traffic lights and life vests. Multiple studiesincluding a recent article in the Annals of Internal Medicine, show that individuals with no symptoms or mild symptoms can transmit the virus to others. But wearing simple cloth masks can stop more than 90% of the droplets that transmit the virus.

2. Practice social distancing. Where possible, keep at least 6 feet between you and other people outside your home. Remember, even people who do not appear sick can still spread the virus to you if you are too close. Avoiding close proximity to other people will help to reduce the risk of the virus spreading.

3. Wash hands frequently. Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in public or blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, can help stem the spread. If soap and water is not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes with unwashed hands.

4. Avoid the Three Cs. The World Health Organization has recommended avoiding “Crowded” places with many people nearby, “Close” contact settings where people have close-range conversations, and “Confined,” enclosed places with poor ventilation. If you do make the decision to gather with others, it is much safer to do so outdoors rather than indoors.

Full Commentary: Dozens of Florida leaders urge: Be safe to stop the spread of COVID-19 | Commentary