Orange County mayoral race gets 2 more candidates

By Sarah Panko, Reporter
Last Updated: Saturday, July 08, 2017, 12:03 AM EDT

Two other candidates, besides Sheriff Jerry Demings, have thrown in their hats for the 2018 Orange County Mayoral election.

30-year-old Robert Melanson was previously a candidate for County Commission, District 3. He now aims at leading the county as a whole.

"I'm probably the hardest working person -- I work 54-60 hours a week," said Melanson. "I have higher education degrees and I'm just a people's person."

Melanson said he's a certified carpenter, has a business degree and a background in civil and mechanical engineering. He said he wants to militarize local law enforcement by giving them more surveillance weapons.

"It's not to infringe on anyone's freedoms, because everyone here already owns guns or should own a gun to protect yourself," Melanson said.

The other new candidate -- Jose Colom -- wants to make local government more accessible to residents.

"Sick and tired of the 55 most powerful men in Orange County and I don't think it should be the 55 most powerful people," said Colom. "I think it should be us the people."

Colom has lived in Orange County for 22 years and owns a downtown parking business.  He said he is trying to run his campaign with as little money as possible and win the support of the people.

"I'm just a common guy that wants to do something, that cares about the homeless, cares about the needy, cares about the single woman," he said.

Candidates have until June of next year to qualify.