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By Scott Powers
June 18, 2020
There may be no more fiery local races in Florida than the ones that set up last week when two Republican Longwood commissioners jumped in to make late challenges to two longtime incumbent Republican county commissioners.
It’s all playing out under the specter of involvement by controversial Seminole County mover-and-shaker Chris Dorworth. The former Republican state Representative, once in line to become House Speaker, was openly furious when the commission rejected his River Cross land development deal in 2018, and then rejected a settlement proposal this spring. And two of those commissioners are now finding themselves in tough primaries, and charging that Dorworth is trying to take them out.
Former Longwood Mayor and now Longwood City Commissioner Ben Paris also this month entered a challenge to a fellow Republican, County Commissioner Lee Constantine, in the August 18 primary. There’s also a newly-entered Democrat in the November election for that seat, Kim Buchheit.
Constantine and Dallari provided critical no votes to defeat the development. Those commissioners now point at the late entries of Paris and Morgan, and contend that Dorworth is seeking to oust the incumbents, so that he can get control of the commission, or that Dorworth is just seeking revenge.
But this summer, in Seminole County, the River Cross development and the broader issue behind it — whether county officials will allow development east of the rural boundary that voters approved in a referendum nearly 20 years ago — is almost universally a conversation changer in county politics.
Read the full article on Florida Politics