Upcoming Central Fla. elections may have poker impact

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Two elections on Nov. 3 may play a large role in the Central Florida area acquiring real poker.

• The Longwood City Commission has two seats up for grabs. In District 3, Bob Cortes is challenging incumbent Mike Holt. Holt has voted favorably in past discussions of poker expansion in that area. In District 5, the challenger is Johnny Richardson, who looks to unseat incumbent Brian D. Sackett. Sackett has voted against poker expansion in the past.

As first reported by <em>Ante Up</em>, the Sanford-Orlando Kennel Club has been trying to open a poker room for years, but the city commissioners have dismissed it in the past, and recently pushed that decision on to the county. SOKC withdrew its request upon hearing that news, not wishing for its fate to be decided by county voters when it feels this is a city decision. If these two seats were occupied by pro-poker commissioners the SOKC would have more leverage in its fight. For more information on this race visit the City of Longwood’s <a href="http://www.ci.longwood.fl.us/">Web site</a>.

• The other election with poker implications is the mayoral race in Minneola. Incumbent David Yeager recently tried to get approval for a mega-complex that would include a horse racing track, five-star hotel, mall and a parimutuel poker room. His plan was turned down May 5 by city commissioners for a county-wide vote. Now, city council member Pat Kelley is running against Yeager, saying the city needs a new direction and he opposes gaming as a means to turn around its economy.