- Posted April 8, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Longest Serving Full-Time Mayor Ran 20th Campaign with Integrity and Dignity
The final campaign after party was rife with young and old alike. Mayor Land’s campaign brought in many young and new voters supporting his legacy of the lowest property taxes for a full-service city in the county and the highest rated Fire Department in the nation. His Facebook page included acknowledgement and support of people from Ecuador to India, all who knew him from person meetings.
While speaking to his campaign workers and family members in attendance at the Highland Manor, he quoted both Abraham Lincoln and his commanding officer during WWII, General George Patton. As Land gallantly led his soldiers in battle to the free the prisoners of war in Germany, he led his city for 19 terms.
Land announced the election outcome himself, joined at the podium by his wife, Betty, his two daughters, and his son. He garnered 46% of the vote (preliminary results), in an election with one of the highest attended elections in the town’s recent history.
His first election was in 1949 and he has served ever since, less the 1968 and 1969 term. March 8, 2011, the both the Florida House of Representatives and Senate recognized Land as the longest serving mayor in Florida and the longest serving full-time mayor in the United States.
Mayor John Land will always be called Mayor in this town and his impact will be felt for generations. His presence at City Hall will be missed greatly by his constituents and fellow employees. He spent most of his life in that building, as it was school in his youth and his office and council room in his elder years.
1. Anxious campaigners stare at the empty podium awaiting the arrival of their candidate
2. First Lady of Apopka, Betty Land and her daughter arrive with eager anticipation
3. Mayor Land awaits the kickoff of the post-campaign celebration
4. John Land waiting for the results.
5. Betty and John Land prepare to make thank you statements. The pies in the foreground reflect the origin of the city's monicker. Apopka evolved from the Creek Indian word for Big Sweet Potato or Sweet Potato Eating People.
6. Local Pastor Doug Bankson reflected over the campaign and gave the benediction.
7. Former Police Chief Vavrek and his family sit on the edge of their seats listening to the Mayor give his final campaign thank you speech.
8. The Mayors in-laws, Florida and Earl Nelson, listen intently awaiting the results.
9. Mayor's family gather around him to announce the results of the election. They take the results with dignity and humor.
10. John Land quotes his former commander, General George Patton after announcing the 4 percentage point race loss.