Gibson ousted as Osceola County Sheriff in narrow defeat by former deputy

It has been a difficult month for Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson. 

It was recently announced that Gibson had recovered from COVID-19 earlier this month, and on Tuesday night, the incumbent sheriff was dealt a defeat by challenger Marco Lopez, a former deputy.

It was a close race, with Lopez winning by roughly three percentage points. A third, well-funded candidate, Mike Fisher, trailed Gibson by 5% when the votes were tallied. Lopez will go on to face the non-party affiliated candidate Luis Fernandez in November.

The Osceola County Sheriff's Office confirmed to FOX 35 News last week that Sheriff Gibson tested positive for COVID-19 at the beginning of August. He went into self-quarantine after learning that he was positive for the virus.

Another surprise in Osceola County came when Fred Hawkins, who was arrested recently and suspended by Gov. Ron DeSantis from his post as a county commissioner, won a four-way Republican primary in House District 42 in Osceola and Polk counties. The seat is open because Rep. Mike La Rosa, R-St. Cloud, faces term limits. Hawkins will face Democrat Barbara Ann Cady and unaffiliated candidate Leroy Sanchez in November.

Kissimmee Democrat Kristen Arrington locked up a House seat when she won a six-candidate Democratic primary in Osceola County’s House District 43. The seat was open because Rep. John Cortes, D-Kissimmee, did not seek another term. No Republicans ran for the seat.