Orange County Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles not seeking re-election: 'Time to pass the torch'

Bill Cowles, Orange County’s longest serving supervisor of elections, announced on Wednesday that he will not seek re-election and intends to retire at the end of his current term, which ends in 2025.

"It has been the role of a lifetime to be trusted by the citizens of Orange County to conduct secure election with the highest standards of integrity. After a fulfilling 33 years (which will be 35 years at the end of the term), first as chief deputy and now supervisor, it is time to pass the torch and retire to private life and enjoy time with my wife and four grandsons," said Supervisor Cowles. 

According to a press release, prior to joining the elections team as chief deputy, he served thirteen years on the staff of the Central Florida Council, Boy Scouts of America. He was elected as the Orange County Supervisor of Elections in 1996 and has been re-elected in every election since. 

With his 70th birthday approaching, Supervisor Cowles joked that he "never intended to break Earl K. Woods’ record." 

He chose to announce at this time out of courtesy to those seeking to fill his shoes, allowing them more time to begin making plans for their campaigns, according to the press release. Cowles said he will miss the job but is looking forward to spending more time with his family.

Cowles term ends on January 6, 2025.