Joe Kilsheimer unseats longtime Apopka mayor John Land



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - There's a new leader in Apopka after residents voted out the man who's led the city for more than six decades.
With 54 percent of the vote Joe Kilsheimer ousted long-time mayor John Land in Tuesday's runoff election.
Land, 93, has served Apopka since he was in his 20s. Many residents said they believed it was time for change.
The new mayor told Channel 9's Renee Stoll that he knows his work begins when Tuesday night's celebration ends.  
"We did it man. We did it," Kilsheimer told supporters when the results were in.
He is the first new mayor for the city in decades.
"It's just an amazing, amazing day. Apopka had waited for this time for a long time," Kilsheimer said.
Land, who was elected mayor in 1949 and served ever since, with the exception of two years, took the defeat hard.
"I love Apopka still, but I'll probably have a broken heart," Land said.
Land said it hurt to be turned down by the residents he's served for so long.
"You're broken-hearted if you love something," said Land.
Those by Land's side, and even his opponent said the election doesn't change what Land has done for the city.
"Sorry it turned out like this," Land told his supporters.
"No election results will diminish his accomplishments over 60 years," Kilsheimer said.
But many Apopka residents, like Leroy Bell told Stoll that they are ready for change and they believe the fact that residents came out to vote on a rainy day says a lot.
"That within itself ought to tell you people are ready for change. It speaks volumes. People, they are ready for the old to go out and the new to come in," Bell said.
For Kilsheimer, the work will include bridging the gap between those who like Apopka just the way it is and those wanting to see it grow and change.
"I've lived here for 25 years and I have kind of a foot on both sides of old Apopka and new Apopka," Kilsheimer said.
Kilsheimer said the three tops things on the his list include creating more jobs in Apopka, creating better transparency in government and getting the city ready for growth that he says is inevitable.

Channel 9's Renee Stoll is covering the race and will have more on Channel 9 Eyewitness News at 11.