- Posted January 21, 2014 by
Longest Serving Fulltime Mayor in USA Kicks off 20th Term Campaign
John Land, 93 years of age and 19-time mayor of Apopka, FL, has served his country and his city longer than most of his constituents have lived. Except for one term, he has been mayor of Apopka since 1949. Fewer than 2,000 people resided in Apopka at that time and has increased by more than 40,000 since then.
During World War II, Land served in the European theater from the liberation of Dachau to the Nuremberg Trials. He even returned with a captured Nazi flag.
The campaign kickoff saw the presence of grandchildren of his original supporters. He was particularly heartened to see all the younger people present. His wife, daughter, son-in-law, and son-in-law’s mother attended along with several of Land’s nieces and nephews. Unfortunately, since the last he campaigned, the last of his eight siblings died.
During his tenure, the town has grown from the small distant cousin of Orlando to the second largest city in Orange County, FL. Mayor Land and few of his neighbors and hunting friends used the shocking news that Walt Disney was going to change the appearance of central Florida to preserve their hunting grounds for future generations by convincing the legislature to create Wekiwa Springs State Park.
Photo 1 Apopka Mayor John Land and First Lady Betty Land
Photo 2 Mayor John Land receives standing ovation at his introduction at campaign kickoff announcement
Photo 3 John Land announces the commencement of his 20th campaign for Mayor of Apopka
Photo 4 Longtime friend, Dora Bell Norman accepts a campaign sign from Mayor John Land and First Lady Betty Land
Photo 5 iReporter Apopka resident and businesswoman, Dr Phyllis M Olmstead receives a sign from Mayor and Mrs. Land
Photo 6 John Land reminisces with friend Dora Bell Norman about their five decades friendship. Dora and her father Reverend Willie Bell were both officers of the Apopka Police Department
Photo 7 Mrs John Land recalls caring for Dora Bell Norman as a child
Photo 8 Dora Bell Norman, Norman Catering & Concessions, discusses the great changes in the department and community relationships with Apopka Chief of Police, Robert Manley