Attorney Kris Cruzada is running for Winter Park commission Seat Three against business owner Anjali Vaya.
Cruzada, a Winter Park native, earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting at the University of Central Florida and received his law degree from Saint Louis University. Currently a private law practitioner in Winter Park, he also serves as shareholder and director of his family’s real estate company, Cristan Properties, Inc., which manages commercial, residential, and agricultural properties across Florida.
In addition, Cruzada is on the Board of Directors of the Florida Association of Housing Redevelopment Officials; on the Economic Development Advisory Board of the Orange County Government; and on the Housing Subcommittee for the Catholic Charities of Central Florida.
While Cruzada did not respond to The Sandspur’s request for an interview, his website lists his campaign pillars, which include protecting “our physical assets and our quality of life,” achieving “city goals for environmental protection, sustainability, and zero carbon emissions,” and “maintain[ing] or increase reserves while keeping tax rates low.”
“I’m running for Winter Park City Commission because I believe Winter Park is a special place,” Cruzada said in an interview with the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce. “Growing up here, I believe there are many things we can protect.”
When asked what he would do to protect businesses in Winter Park, Cruzada said he would help “keep tax rates low” and promote smart technologies for businesses to improve delivery of goods and enhance customer service.
Between Feb. 19 and March 3, Cruzada garnered $3,140 from 12 individuals. From the start of his campaign, he has gathered a total of $22,100 in donations.
For comparison, his opponent Vaya garnered $8,600 between Feb. 19 and March 3, totaling $58,200 in donations since the start of her campaign.
During the debate hosted by WP Voter and Rollins’s Democracy Project on Feb. 7, Cruzada and Vaya supported the decision of purchasing the Winter Pines Golf Course, a purchase that would cost the city an estimated 7.4 million dollars.
During the debate, when asked about his vision for the ratio of corporate stores to small businesses in Winter Park, Cruzada said, “I don’t want to make it more difficult for the central business district because it is a very unique space. There is something to be said about — especially after COVID — having a shopping area outside […] so that people can socially gather and communicate with each other. I just don’t think the big box store has that feel and look, and I’m not sure if that would be in line with what Winter Park is.”
Voting for city commissioner Seats Three and Four takes place on Mar. 8. Winter Park residents can find their local polling location here.