Meet the 5 Democrats running for Orange County Sheriff

Meet the 5 Democrats running for Orange County Sheriff
Orange County Sheriff candidates (

ORLANDO, Fla. — In the midst of a national conversation about police accountability and reform, five people are running in the Democratic Primary for Orange County Sheriff.

Each night at 11 p.m. on WFTV, August 3-7, we’ll interview a different candidate. Tune in to hear directly from them why they’re running for sheriff and what changes they believe are needed.

Election Day is Tuesday, August 18.

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Andrew Darling
Andrew Darling (Andrew Darling)

The Orange County native graduated from Oak Ridge High School. He served in the United States Army, deploying twice to Iraq. That is where he met his wife, an active-duty service member. After completion of his military service, he graduated from the University of Miami School of Law. Upon graduation, he began working as a public defender, but left that job to run for Orange County Sheriff.

Five platform priorities:

  • Immediately instituting a Civilian Review Board with subpoena power
  • End the school to prison pipeline by offer alternatives to arrest to all eligible youth
  • Hiring 10 social workers/mental health professionals/addiction specialist before 10 more deputies
  • Eliminating arrests for misdemeanor offenses (except Domestic Violence and DUI)
  • Deputies must have written consent to search a vehicle without probable cause

See his full in-depth interview below:

IN-DEPTH: Andrew Darling talks race for Orange County Sheriff


Jose "Joe" Lopez"
Jose "Joe" Lopez" (Jose "Joe" Lopez")

The Bronx, New York native moved with his family to Miami after his freshman year of high school. He graduated from Hialeah Miami Lakes High School. He served in the United States Marine Corps, protecting US embassies in Nicaragua and Dominican Republic. After his time in the military, Lopez began a civilian law enforcement career with the Florida Highway Patrol, later working as a Special Agent for the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco. In 2013, Lopez was promoted to Major as the Chief of Criminal Investigations and Intelligence with the Florida Highway Patrol. Lopez previously ran against Sheriff John Mina and fellow candidate Darryl Sheppard in the 2018 special election.

Five platform priorities:

  • Using focused deterrence to target repeat offenders who commit 80% of the county’s violent crime
  • Implement Domestic Violence Initiative to reduce domestic violence
  • Rebuilding trust with the community by prohibiting profiling on traffic stops and focusing on positive, non-enforcement activities during citizen-police interactions
  • Aggressive recruitment campaign to fill current vacancies and add more deputies reflective of the community
  • Implement a plan allowing a case to go to a Civilian Appeals Board if a complainant disagrees with the outcome of an Internal Affairs investigation, leaving the final decision with the Sheriff

See his full in-depth interview below:

IN-DEPTH: Joe Lopez talks Orange County Sheriff's race


Sheriff John Mina
Sheriff John Mina (Sheriff John Mina)

Sheriff John Mina is a Brooklyn, New York native and U.S. Army veteran. He served for three years as a military police officer before being recruited by the Orlando Police Department more than 30 years ago. He was named the Chief of Police in 2014 and held the position until being elected Sheriff of Orange County during the 2018 special election against fellow candidates Darryl Sheppard and Joe Lopez. He serves on the Boards of Directors for the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Heart of Florida United Way, Central Florida Crimeline, and the Camaraderie Foundation.

Five platform priorities:

  • Keep Crime Low
  • Increase accountability and transparency
  • Prioritize community engagement, diversity and inclusion
  • Keep schools and our children safe
  • Prioritize mental health

See his full in-depth interview below:

IN-DEPTH: Sheriff Mina talks reelection campaign


Eric McIntyre
Eric McIntyre (Eric McIntyre)

Eric McIntyre grew up in downtown Orlando, an experience that has informed his law enforcement career. He began as a patrol deputy for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. He then moved on to the Eatonville Police Department, where he gained experience in a wide range of investigative and administrative roles. He was later named Interim Chief of Police and then Chief of Police. McIntyre has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration from Columbia College - Orlando and an associate’s degree in paralegal studies from Southern College - Orlando.

Five platform priorities:

  • Listen to concerns of the deputies and work together to build positive in-house relationships
  • Enhance community policing through YOUR COMMUNITY-YOUR VOICE initiative, by having deputies exit their vehicles and build relationships with the citizens and being more involved with community programs.
  • Reduce crime and fear of crime in Orange County by evaluating crime trends and implement strategies of prevention and apprehension.
  • Review use of force policy and banning the use of choke holds.
  • Implement more training and de-escalation techniques.

See his full in-depth interview below:

IN-DEPTH: Eric McIntyre talks Orange County Sheriff candidacy


Darryl Sheppard
Darryl Sheppard (Darryl Sheppard)

Darryl Sheppard is a Florida native and small business owner. He has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and psychology. He came in a close second to Sheriff John Mina in the 2018 special election.

Five platform priorities:

  • Zero Tolerance Policies for Police Brutality and Excessive force
  • Strong Community Oversight/CRB
  • Reduce Police Militarization
  • Prioritize Crime Prevention/Rehabilitation/Mental Health Services.
  • Competitive Pay and Benefits for Deputies

See his full in-depth interview below:

IN-DEPTH: Darryl Sheppard discusses Orange County Sheriff campaign