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Meet the Candidates


Mercedes Fonseca

Orange County Commissioner, District 4

Greetings! I am Mercedes Fonseca. I am fluent in both English and Spanish.  I am a candidate for Orange County Commissioner District 4, which encompasses the areas of Avalon Park, Waterford Lakes, Lake Nona and Meadow Woods.

I was born and raised locally, a graduate of UCF and hold a Master’s in Business Administration. I am the managing partner of Ascension Consulting Partnerships helping small business owners and residents with local governmental issues such as land use, code enforcement, and permitting.

I previously served as chief of staff for a few elected officials. I have extensive experience in local government, non-profit, and the private sector. That experience has given me the unique ability to appreciate and take into account the different challenges that each encountered. My reasons for running include improving the quality of life for residents, supporting and enhancing our public safety, and ensuring fiscal responsibility. Qualities that set me apart from other candidates are my experience, service, and the relationships I have built throughout the years with the community, nonprofit agencies, elected officials, and executives in the private sector.

I invite you to look at my web page for additional information

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, comments, or concerns about Orange County. I hope to earn your vote.


Fred Hawkins

Florida House of Representatives, District 42

I am blessed to have two great parents who from an early age instilled in me values that have served me well and provided the fuel for my current role as a public servant. From my father, I learned how to deliver superior customer service and to set goals. My mother from an early age encouraged me to serve others, especially those less fortunate than myself and she also help spark in me early, a burning desire to learn from reading books, especially historical biographies.

From an early age, I was also infused with a strong work ethic. Sleeping in was not allowed. If there were chores that needed to be done, I was taught to get after them. My first real job outside our home at the age of 12 was bailing hay on farms. I wasn’t as big as the older guys but had to lift the same bales. This was tough work but having had the experience it has served me well to this present day.

Having been blessed to have active parents in my life also taught me the value of family structure and what it means for Florida on a larger scale. Statistics show that the lack of parental involvement in a child’s life has very negative implications for that young person’s future. Therefore I was so honored to have had the ability to assist on helping pass legislation this past session on strengthening the role that Fathers play in their family’s life. Our focus on assisting Fathers on their abilities to lead and interact with their children will no doubt help us on raising awareness on the role Fathers can play in leading their families towards a better future.

Public service was something that started early in my life. I remember the thrill of running for Student Council in High School. I really learned to enjoy expressing myself through public speaking and was also thrilled to campaign during the process. Serving on the Student Council also was gratifying in that I learned the satisfaction one could gain from public service and serving others. I also learned the value of listening to the needs of my constituents and being accessible to them.

Early on in my life I was taught by both of my parents the value of self- improvement through education. I believe education, especially early education is the pathway for people to realize their full potential and empowers them to be able to pursue their version of the American Dream. I have a passion for education especially for those who may not have a great family structure. I think

it important that we pursue vigorous early education especially by the Third Grade to make sure young men and women are aligned to have the proper reading skills to stay on track throughout their academic career.

One of my greatest honors and blessings is to serve the constituents of Florida, in the Florida House of Representatives. The area of education, including the focus on early education and the issue of School Safety has been a primary focus of mine. I really believe that we can make a difference in other people’s lives when we focus on getting children early on to learn to love reading.

Regarding the topic of School Safety, it was my privilege this past Florida Legislative Session to Sponsor our School Safety Bill, recently signed by Governor Ron DeSantis into law. One of my goals of this legislation was to make Florida a leader in the area of school safety. Running this Bill taught me the value of teamwork with other legislators, and I am happy to report we worked unanimously across party lines to pass this Bill.

Being the Sponsor of the Florida School Safety Bill was not easy and I learned much during the process. One of the reasons I felt so passionate about this law was I had to opportunity to speak and listen to parents and educators who had experienced the Marjorie Stoneman Douglass tragedy. This touched me at a deep level and provided the fuel I needed to work that extra mile to make sure we worked together to make sure we could help save lives and help our future leaders in the State of Florida. Our future is our children and the return on investment we gain from our commitment to education is a great investment for our tax dollars.

My career path has been unique. From working in a corporate law firm, to operating our family business, I also rode on the professional Rodeo Circuit as a Head Team Roper. That’s right a professional rodeo cowboy. If you are not sure, what team roping is I encourage you to google it. I was the guy that roped the head of the steer. This experience taught me the value of learning to work with others, continuance of training & practice all while realizing that we are all dependent on one another in learning to accomplish goals. I really enjoyed being a Cowboy and learned the value of camaraderie and teamwork. I have seen this same transition of fellowship by serving in the Florida House. It is a great honor to work with my fellow legislators and the bonds created from this organization are special.

Although I was a real Cowboy, there are other sports I follow and hobbies I have. If you connect with me on social media, you will see my love for the Dallas Cowboys and Florida Gators. Running, playing golf, reading and of course cooking. My love for cooking comes from my mom. Like many of you I am hooked on the Big Green Egg and trying many recipes.

Looking ahead to the immediate future, I have a burning desire to see education in Florida rise further in the national rankings. It has been a pleasure working with Governor Ron DeSantis and watching him really follow through by properly raising teachers’ salaries, increasing school choice for Florida parents and of course helping make Florida schools safer with the signing of the Florida School Safety Bill into law.

Another key component of the Florida School Safety Bill was its focus on putting additional resources in the area of mental health. We now will have more mental health screening occurring and this not only will help keep our schools safer, but also provide a way to assist our students who may be struggling in this area to improve their outlook on life at an early age. It really is exciting to do such work and realize the positive impact it will have on the future of Florida.

It has been my greatest honor to serve the constituents of Central Florida since 2020 in the Florida House of Representatives. I remain driven to work even harder this next Legislative Session to help build a stronger future for all Floridians regardless of their situation and will do my best to listen and lead on the critical issues facing our great state. I appreciate this opportunity and I pledge to work hard to help make the American Dream a possibility for every Floridian.

Please, when you see me out in the Avalon Park area, come up and introduce yourself or connect with me on social media. Twitter @Hawkins4Florida or Facebook Hawkins4Floirda.

I hope you and your families have a wonderful and Blessed Summer.


Angela Galo

Orange County School Board, District 1

Every 10 years, school boards are required to develop a reapportionment plan. As part of this process, school board residence area boundaries are redrawn to reflect the population changes that have occurred since the previous Census.  On December 14, 2021, the Orange County School Board approved a new map that places Avalon Park and much of the surrounding area into District 1 (previously District 2).

So…allow me to introduce myself! My name is Angie Gallo, and I am the current elected School Board member for District 1.  I was born and raised in Central Florida.  My husband and I raised our girls right here in East Orange County (OCPS students, K-12!) and I am a proud graduate of UCF.  I have spent the last 18 years advocating for children and for public schools on a wide variety of issues, from the Recess Bill (which ensures all elementary students receive at least 20 consecutive minutes of unstructured play daily) to Baker Act reform (to ensure parents are notified before their students are removed from school campuses).

During the upcoming primary election, all Orange County voters will be asked whether to approve a continuation of the one-mill ad valorem property tax for an additional four years.  The One Mill originally passed in 2010 and was renewed in 2014 and 2018. If approved again, the One Mill would be used to fund essential operating expenses, compensate teachers and support staff and continue to preserve academic programs, arts, athletics and student activities.

The deadline to register to vote is July 25. Vote-by-mail ballots will be distributed beginning July 20, and early voting takes place August 8-21. Election day is August 23, 2022, and the One Mill is the last item on the ballot…so be sure to make your way to the very end! ALL registered voters are eligible to vote on the One Mill, because this ballot initiative is non-partisan. For more information on the One Mill, visit and look for the “Vote” graphic.

It is my sincere privilege to represent you and the Avalon Park community.  If you have any questions or concerns, please email me at [email protected].


Dianna Liebnitzky

Florida House of Representatives, District 35

Dianna’s background and public policy credentials will bring healthcare to the top.
This as one of her agenda items for the people cross all party lines.
There is not a more PREPARED, PASSIONATE, FEARLESS person to send to Tallahassee.

Dianna has a proven background in leading on State wide initiatives
to support improved quality of life initiatives.
This prepared Candidate will take the People’s VOICE to the State Agenda
Join the Journey to send this REPUBLICAN Candidate to the Florida House of Representatives – District 35!

Please VOTE DIANNA August 8-23!

Read Dianna’s Letter to Her Constituents


Whether you are enjoying one of the large quarterly festivals or relaxing in the park at one of the monthly movies, the community is full of life and a variety of family-friendly activities.

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