OSCEOLA COUNTY — There are two newcomers in the world of politics in Osceola County. They are not only new to the office but also to politics in general.

  • Keith Trace will be sworn in as St. Cloud council member on Thursday
  • Felix Ortiz is a new commissioner in Kissimmee

Keith Trace is the newest council member for St. Cloud (seat 5).

"I decided to run for St. Cloud City Council to make sure that I am giving back to the community," Trace said.

Trace grew up here in Osceola County. He is the vice president of Mattamy Homes, a residential homebuilder. He is a licensed civil engineer who wants to see his city prosper.

"I am hoping to make the image of St. Cloud better. And make sure we can attract businesses because we have a great image, we have a great place to live work and play," Trace said. "We have great parks, we have great facilities, we have great city staff. We're just making sure that we can attract individuals to live here, work here and play."  

Felix Ortiz is the owner of the downtown restaurant 3 Sisters Speakeasy. He is also the next City of Kissimmee commissioner (seat 2).

"Everything we do here, we do it together. And that's what counts," Ortiz said. "That's why I got excited and said I am going to run for commissioner, why not? Give it a shot."

Ortiz went from chef to general manager and ultimately bought the restaurant from the owner. Running this restaurant drove him to run for office, he said, as a way of giving back.

"I am not in it for the money … I am in so I can open some doors so that way I can help the people more," Ortiz added. "So just being in there is going to give me the knowledge to help others a lot more than what I do right now."

Trace will be sworn in Thursday at noon at the St. Cloud City Hall, while Ortiz will be sworn in Tuesday, Nov. 20, at 6 p.m. at the Kissimmee City Hall.