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Seminole County Supervisor of Election claims racism among political colleagues, own party



The Seminole County Supervisor of Elections is speaking out about the racism he claims he has faced since he was first appointed by Governor DeSantis in 2019.


Christopher Anderson took it to social media recently, posting a video after a recent trip to a big box store, calling out the racism he experienced.

“This is excessive; why are you scanning everything in my basket? To where, you know, it’s holding up the line, you know, even other people are noticing it.” Anderson said of the incident at the store.

It led to him calling out to the county commissioners, the sheriff, even his own party.

“Day two in office, I was told by a group of white men, Republicans, white people consider you as a black person, dumb, stupid, and you’re going to mess something up,” Anderson told Eyewitness News. “It was my second day on the job; I had just been appointed– I’ve tried everything I can to prove them wrong.”

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Anderson said he’s done that– becoming the first African American elected to a county office and winning national awards for his office’s work with elections.

But, he said his colleagues seem to always require more from him than his white counterparts.

During a May budget hearing this year, he provided more information than what was provided in the past.

“The Committee Chairman says, hey, look, we’re not asking you for anything we haven’t asked anyone else,” he said. “Well, Andria Herr steps up and says, Oh no, to be clear, I am asking him for more.”

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In a statement to Eyewitness News, Commissioner Andria Herr said that when Anderson asked for in excess of a 25% increase to his budget, questions were asked.

“Since the Supervisor of Elections took office in 2019, his budget has almost doubled,” Herr said on the statement. “I plan to continue to question budget submissions from county staff and Seminole County Constitutional Officers consistent with the legal requirements of my office because not doing so would be a dereliction of office.”

According to the county, Anderson received all but $200,000.

The County Clerk of Courts had his budget request slashed by a million dollars.

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Amy Lockhart, Chair of the County Commissioners for Seminole County, told Eyewitness News in a statement that the board takes accusations of racism very seriously.

“We welcome the public and the media to watch for themselves the interactions referenced by the Supervisor of Elections, as these occurred during our public meetings.“ Lockhart said.

Anderson was a Seminole County deputy before he got into politics.

He called out his former boss, Sheriff Dennis Lemma, over a brief encounter between Anderson’s wife and a deputy in a Lake Mary parking lot last year.

Anderson claims the deputy racially profiled his wife.

“She’s on the phone– she can feel this intense, unwarranted stare coming from a Deputy Sheriff she doesn’t understand,” Anderson said.

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Anderson said after his wife got out of her car, so did the deputy.

“ The deputy stopped her and said ‘I thought you dropped something’ — she didn’t drop anything, and he knew she hadn’t dropped anything,” he said.

According to Anderson, he reported the incident to the sheriff and remembers being told the deputy’s version of events that day.

He was told that the deputy said his wife was suspicious for going in a purse.

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In a statement, the sheriff said the encounter was brief.

Initially, a preliminary review determined that the deputy noticed a piece of paper on the ground near where Anderson’s wife parked, and the deputy asked her if she dropped something, which she indicated she had not, and then each party positively parted ways.

The Andersons never filed a formal complaint against the deputy.

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According to the sheriff’s statement, Sheriff Lemma personally met with Supervisor Anderson on two occasions to discuss the incident and their concerns.

Anderson said the sheriff’s answer was different from what he expected. “You could have done something–As a matter of fact, one of the things we were told working there is we never tell someone; there’s nothing we can do. That’s exactly what was told to me– So I’m helpless at this point.” Anderson said.

SCSO Executive Command Staff members said they attempted to contact Supervisor Anderson to walk him through the complaint process, and neither the Supervisor nor Mrs. Anderson pursued further action.

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