Linda Stewart Gets a Republican Opponent in Orange County

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: August 1, 2013 3:55 AM

Linda Stewart and Maurice Pearson

Rep. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando, drew a Republican opponent on Wednesday as business owner Maurice "Mo" Pearson announced he was running for the seat, which represents parts of Orange County, as a Republican.

Stewart, who beat Bob Brooks for the open seat in November, told Sunshine State News on Wednesday she has been more concerned with her legislative duties instead of winning a second term in 2014.

“There’s a lot that needs to be focused on,” Stewart told Sunshine State News on Wednesday. 

Stewart pointed to a host of issues that she intends to remain attentive of. “I will continue to focus on springs restoration and public transportation funding,” she said. Stewart also said she would continue to fight for the disabled and for better education.

Noting she had served eight years on the Orange County Commission, Stewart said during that time she learned to work with Republicans and added she was working with members of both parties as part of a “pretty good working group” focusing on springs restoration. Still, Stewart added she would oppose further public pension reforms which she expects Republicans to push in 2014.

Stewart said she had received “high marks” from the business community for her votes in the House. While the Florida Chamber of Commerce gave Stewart a 68 for her record in the 2013 session, she received higher marks from the Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) which gave her an 82. She cited her marks from the business community -- which are high for a Democrat -- as proof she can work with legislators from both parties.

“I don’t look as much at partisanship as to the good of the constituents,” she said.

Pearson announced on Wednesday that he would challenge Stewart. Pearson founded 3E Consultants, an ecological services consulting firm. He has been active in the community, serving on numerous civic and business boards. 

“I have seen many changes in Central Florida as a lifelong resident,” Pearson said in a statement announcing his campaign on Wednesday. “I understand what it means to pursue the American dream, start a business, watch it grow and be accountable for the livelihood and paychecks of over 40 employees. 

“As a small-business owner, I understand the challenges we face as our economy continues to improve,” Pearson continued. “Now, more than ever, Florida needs leaders who understand this community, listen to their concerns then work effectively growing our economy, improving education and maintaining fiscal responsibility.”

Speaking to Sunshine State News on Wednesday, Pearson said he had filed his paperwork to enter the race and his lifelong ties to the area would help him as he seeks office. “I understand what’s happening in the community,” he told Sunshine State News.

Pearson said he would focus on improving transportation and support the Republican economic agenda. “I want to continue to see growth and see jobs coming back to the area,” he said, adding he wanted “high paying jobs” to come to Central Florida.

This is a swing district, to be sure. While Republicans make up 40 percent of the district, a 3 percent advantage over the Democrats, the GOP has often underperformed here. Alex Sink took 51 percent of the vote against Rick Scott who took 46 percent here back in the 2010 gubernatorial race.

Since filing her paperwork at the end of 2012 to run again in 2014, Stewart has raised around $21,330 and spent less than $1,260.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

Comments (4)

10:14AM APR 26TH 2014
Hey Amanda,
Are you writing from rehab? It's so special mommy can lie for you so you can keep your job with Orange County schools, she's certainly a 'jewel.' I'm sure you can help shape minds of the future and keep people voting democrat.
7:09PM AUG 3RD 2013
Linda Stewart is a jewel. She is there for us, the taxpayers of Orange County. The Florida Republican party has their boss currently serving a jail term. Although this may open up the field to those new to serving in office because the others are in jail or at risk of jail, it doesn't mean anyone new will actually care. We already know that Linda does.
jimmy c
8:32AM AUG 2ND 2013
Orlando is moving up in the world. Or, not so far down, depending on how you look at it.

Last year Men's Health Magazine jumped the Magic City over Las Vegas, ranking it as No. 1 Smuttiest City in America.

But this year, judged by an online blog with a hip national audience, Florida's top tourist and convention destination must have had a sudden poof of purity, because it dropped to No. 2.

Motovo, which subheads itself as "the lighter side of real estate," made Orlando runner-up on its Most Sinful City in America list. No. 1 honors went to the darkest horse in the pasture, St. Louis, Mo.

Once again, Las Vegas -- with all of its casinos and dancing girls and escort services -- got passed over on a Gommorah list. Oh, Vegas was still on Motovo's. But nine other big cities -- Miami as well as Orlando -- proved to be more sinful based on the biblical criteria used to judge the "contest."

And what were the criteria? The Seven Deadly Sins of pride, lust, greed, wrath, envy, gluttony, and sloth.

Here’s the full list of the 10 most sinful cities in America:

1. St. Louis, Mo
2. Orlando, Fla.
3. Minneapolis, Minn.
4. Pittsburgh, Pa.
5. Milwaukee, Wis.
6. Cincinnati, Ohio
7. Miami, Fla.
8. Buffalo, N.Y.
9. Detroit, Mich.
10. Las Vegas, Nev.

In order to make this ranking, writer Randy Nelson said the Motovo team had to "translate the sins into some criteria that makes sense for modern city living. That’s how we came up with the seven we ended up using:"

◦Strip clubs per capita (Lust)
◦Cosmetic surgeons per capita (Pride)
◦Violent crime per year per 1,000 residents (Wrath)
◦Theft per year per 1,000 residents (Envy)
◦Percentage of disposable income given to charity each year (Greed)
◦Percentage of obese residents (Gluttony)
◦Percentage of physically inactive residents (Sloth).

Each city was ranked from 1 to 95, with 1 being most sinful and 95 being least. Scores were averaged across all criteria to come up with the Top 10 Most Sinful Cities.

But, all this sin ins not PARTISAN it covers all political leanings! It was the Republicans that had the most child pedophile ranches and farms as illistrated in the online publications beginning with The Franklin Scandal.
William in Tampa
8:25AM AUG 1ST 2013
I cannot truthfully comment on the accomplishments of this woman. I' sure she has done the best she is able to do. But, it is well-known that changes are needed in both Orange county and Orlando.

Several days ago, that part of the country was evaluated by one professional writer as becoming more more like Las Vegas than Las Vegas - sorry, can't locate the article at the moment.

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