Joe Lopez, a 32 year veteran of the Florida Highway Patrol is the latest candidate in the race to replace Jerry Demings.
By Jacob Engels
The Orange County Sheriff’s race just got interesting.
One of Florida Highway Patrol’s top commanders has made official his intentions to become our next Sheriff, filing paperwork this morning at the Orange County Supervisor of Elections.
Joe Lopez is a 32-year veteran of the Florida Highway Patrol, where he held numerous leadership roles and special task forces according to our sources. During his time at FHP, Lopez managed hundreds of State Troopers from Orlando to Miami, often times spearheading high-profile operations for the agency.
According to a campaign spokesperson, Lopez served in the United States Marines from 1979 to 1985, protecting America’s interests overseas and providing support to several US embassies. After his service, Mr. Lopez would join the Florida Highway Patrol.
The newly minted candidate and political newcomer told the Central Florida Post that safety is more than just an expectation from Orange County residents.
“It is your fundamental right as taxpaying citizens. We in law enforcement work for the people and have a responsibility to carry out the people’s work.”
Lopez continued by pointing to the scourge of the violence and drug epidemic facing Orange County currently.
“I will work tirelessly and with laser focus to make sure the community is free of danger, violence and the scourge of the drug epidemic.”
Avalon Park resident and business owner Tiffany Bayley says that she is more hopeful now than she has been in years following Lopez’s formalizing a bid to become the top cop. Bayley owns the popular Avalon Park Jewelers based in Downtown Avalon.
“I believe we are headed for the change that Orange County has so desperately needed. Joe has an amazing charisma about him that commands respect while remaining approachable. These traits will be effective in a transition period to boost morale within the department.”
Mr. Lopez is a longtime Avalon Park resident, where he lives with his wife Lisette and their two children, who are both enrolled in UCF.
Jacob Engels is an Orlando based journalist whose work has been featured and republished in news outlets around the globe including Politico, InfoWars, MSNBC, Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Daily Mail UK, Associated Press, People Magazine, ABC, Fox News, and Australia’s New Dawn Magazine. Mr. Engels focuses on stories that other news outlets neglect or willingly hide to curry favor among the political and business special interests in the state of Florida.