Ten local officials in Orange County have formally endorsed Vennia Francois for House District 45.
Francois, an Orlando attorney and state officer for the Florida Federation of Republican Women, announced on Tuesday that her campaign is being backed by ten Republican mayors and city council members in Orange County. The endorsements include Winter Garden Mayor John Rees, Ocoee Mayor Rusty Johnson, Apopka Mayor Bryan Nelson, Windermere former Mayor Gary Bruhn, Belle Isle Mayor Nick Fouraker, and Edgewood Mayor John Dowless, as well as Winter Garden Commissioners Lisa Bennett, Mark Maciel, and Windermere Council Members Loren “Andy” Williams and Tony Davit.
“Vennia has the right values, the right motivation, and is the one candidate in this race who will be able to hit the ground running on day one in Tallahassee,” said Rees in a press release.
HD 45 is an open seat in southwest Orange County and western Osceola County that includes parts of Winter Garden, Oakland, Windermere, Orlando, Celebration, and Champions Gate. The district also includes Walt Disney World, which has come under fire from Governor Ron DeSantis and GOP leadership over its stance on the recently signed Parental Rights in Education bill (HB 1557).
“I am honored to receive the endorsements of these ten leaders and elected city officials who live and work in Orange County. Along with the residents of West Orange and Osceola, they will be able to count on me to fight for our conservative values and work every day to make our community the best place to live and work,” Francois added.
Other Republicans eyeing the seat include Central Christian University vice president Carolina Amesty, retired law enforcement officer Janet Frevola, businessman Bruno Portigliatti, and former congressional candidate Mike Zhao.
The only Democrat that has filed to run is former president of the Central Florida Urban League Allie Lee Braswell Jr.