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Megan Sladek

Former Oviedo City Council member Megan Sladek prevailed in a hard-fought mayor’s race Tuesday during which the city’s soaring growth in recent years was the hot topic.

Sladek won with 44% of the vote over Randy Core, who received 35%, and Emma Reichert, who trailed with 21%.

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The mayor’s seat became vacant after Dominic Persampiere, who served as mayor since 2010, announced this summer that he would not seek another term.

Sladek is an attorney and real-estate broker whose late father, Phil Cloninger, served on the council.

In the race for the council’s Group 1 seat, Judith Dolores Smith defeated Barry Cammack with nearly 55% of the votes cast. The Group 1 seat on the council became vacant after Steve Henken, a seven-term incumbent, also decided to not seek another term.

But it was the hotly contested mayoral race that drew the most attention in the Seminole County city of about 41,000 residents. The overriding topic was how to manage the influx of new residents moving in and developers wanting to build more subdivisions.

Over the past two decades, Oviedo’s population has skyrocketed by more than 58%, and many longtime residents said Oviedo was losing its historic charm to new residential subdivisions.

Sladek, 40, campaigned on the promise of not giving in to developers’ requests to build more homes and apartments that Oviedo’s current land development regulations currently allow.

“Oviedo has picked a new direction and I look forward to uniting everybody and making Oviedo be the best it can be,” Sladek said.

She advocated for a slower and more disciplined plan on future growth.

Core, a political newcomer who runs a consulting firm and nonprofit organization, said Oviedo is “at a pivotal point” in its future and it’s important for city leaders to start planning now for the city’s future growth.

He supports higher density growth within Oviedo’s more urban area, such as around the Central Avenue and Broadway Street intersection, rather than in outlying areas.

His campaign was supported by development interests, including state legislator Chris Dorworth, whose controversial River Cross development was proposed within Seminole’s rural boundary. County commissioners voted unanimously against the project in August 2018.

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