Teresa Jacobs easily won the Orange County mayor seat on Tuesday.
The former Orange County commissioner blew past County Commissioner Bill Segal, who conceded less than an hour after the polls closed. She seized nearly 70 percent of the votes.
Hundreds of supporters, family and friends gathered in the Lakeside Ballroom at the Sonesta hotel to celebrate Jacobs’ victory.
Jacobs met Segal in the runoff after each candidate failed to receive more than 50 percent of the votes in the primary, in which Jacobs raked in 42 percent and Segal had 22.
When the early voting and absentee ballot tallies came in minutes after the polls closed, Jacobs jumped out in the lead with 68 percent of the votes and never relinquished it.
Despite being a heavy favorite and receiving numerous endorsements from groups and local politicians, Jacobs was skeptical as to how the race would turn out.
“A number of polls had us looking good, but I don’t think anyone expected this big of a win,” she said.
In the midst of the big victory, Jacobs is looking toward the future. She said she looks forward to working with Segal, and the two have already agreed to meet in the next two weeks to get started.
“He is an asset,” she said. “Campaigning can be divisive, but it is over, and it is time to work together.”
Now she faces the tough task to take Central Florida’s largest government in the right direction. Creating jobs and diversifying the economy are just some of the things this self-proclaimed fiscal watchdog has on her to-do list. And the first thing she plans to do is hold job fairs and job summits to help turn the economy around.
But she said she can’t do it alone.
“The work begins tonight,” she said. “We need everyone to come together and help me make this place the greatest in America.”
Jacobs credits her family and her volunteers the most, saying that her family pushed her constantly to run for mayor.
“If my family wasn’t this supportive, I wouldn’t have been able to win,” she said.
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