On the morning of Thursday, October 19th, Eric Rollings stood in front of a mixed crowd of press and supporters at the Orange County Administration Building to officially announce his bid for the Orange County Commissioner seat in district 3. Rollings, who currently serves the public as the Orange County Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor, filled the appropriate paperwork with the Orange County Supervisor of Elections earlier in October.
Although Rollings filled to run in 2020, his political campaign may start a few years earlier. Rollings is hoping to fill the seat of Pete Clarke, who announced that he is running for Orange County Mayor in the 2018 election. If Mr. Clarke does follow through with his bid to run for Orange County Mayor next year, he would have to resign from his current district 3 commissioner seat at the end of June, leaving Rollings just under six months to reach out to over 200,000 residents that reside in the district. Rollings stated that he chose to be the first one out and about to try meeting with all the residents in the district to hear their concerns and ideas.
Forty-nine year old Rollings has been a resident of Orange County for the past 28 years and currently works as a real estate agent with Mainframe Real Estate, located in the Downtown Orlando area. A longtime Democrat, Rollings has focused his activism on LGBTQ issues and Environmental policies. He was elected as the Orange County Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor back in 2014. Rollings is also the longest serving member on the Community Development Block Grant Program.
Rollings hopes that he can work on many different issues that are concerning to him. He hopes that this will also give him the opportunity to work with various local officials to give all residents of Orange County a better quality of life, regardless of their political affiliations. Rollings has a proven track record himself as the current Orange County Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor – He has been instrumental in getting Orange County to ban fracking and has also raised awareness of the dangers that polystyrene or Styrofoam containers pose to the environment.
If elected, Rollings would be the first openly gay Orange County Commissioner. Other openly gay politicians in Orlando and the surrounding Orange County area include Patty Sheehan, who currently serves as City of Orlando District 4 Commissioner, Wes Hodge, who serves as the chairman of the Orange County Democratic Executive Committee and Lew Oliver, who serves as the chairman of the Orange County Republican Executive Committee.