The upstart Orange County Commission candidate can now count the GOP mega-donor and community leader among his top boosters.
By Jacob Engels
First-time political candidate and small business owner Pete Crotty has assembled a formidable campaign force since announcing his bid for Orange County Commission in January.
The brother of former Mayor Rich Crotty runs his own hospitality consulting firm that helps to provide staffing, and other efficiency services to some of our area’s largest hotel brands.
For Crotty, those connections are starting to bear fruit in his quest to succeed Pete Clarke as District 3’s representative on the Orange County Commission.
According to recent campaign finance reports, Crotty snagged a $1,000 check from resort magnate David Siegel and another $1,000 from CFI Resorts Management, the company that runs Siegel’s world-famous Westgate Resorts.
While Crotty’s foot-in-the-door with Siegel was in part due to their work together in the hospitality industry, the two men share a much deeper connection than that of mutual respect for one another as entrepreneurs.
“We have all had our struggles in life and I decided long ago to use what I learned in my personal journey to help others. I’ve dedicated myself to a jailhouse outreach ministry at the Orange County jail. We talk about addiction, self-esteem, and realizing your full potential.”
Crotty said he recently invited Siegel to speak to a group of inmates about his experience with addiction and drugs.
“David immediately connected with everyone. He went through an unbearable tragedy in losing his daughter Victoria to an overdose and proved the point that addiction does not discriminate.”
David and his wife Jacqueline formed Victoria’s Voice, a foundation that aims to “save lives” so that we don’t lose a future generation to drug abuse and addition.
Largely due to the advocacy of the Siegel’s, Orange County began providing first responders with a fast-acting overdose drug called Narcan.
Crotty says he will push for increased funding for Narcan when elected to the county commission, rely on insight from leaders like Siegel and Carol Burkett of the Orange County Drug Free Coalition, and ideas submitted by residents.
“We’ll work to chase down private funding and form that public-private partnership. Our families are at great risk. We must explore alternative methods for addressing this crisis.”
Crotty will face Bobby Lance and Eric Rollings in the August primary.
Jacob Engels is an Orlando based journalist whose work has been featured and republished in news outlets around the globe including Politico, InfoWars, MSNBC, Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Daily Mail UK, Associated Press, People Magazine, ABC, Fox News, and Australia’s New Dawn Magazine. Mr. Engels focuses on stories that other news outlets neglect or willingly hide to curry favor among the political and business special interests in the state of Florida.