SUNDAY CONVERSATION: Seminole County Sheriff-Elect Dennis Lemma: had 'opportunity to ascend the ranks'

Headline Surfer® videos by Serafina King-Frederick /
Seminole County Sheriff-Elect Dennis Lemma is interviewed Friday for the Sunday Conversation. Click on the videos to watch the on-camera interviewHeadline Surfer® had with Lemma Friday morning in a conference room at the Seminole County Sheriff's Office headquarters in Sanford, Florida.

Seminole County Sheriff-Elect Dennis Lemma / Headline SurferSANFORD, Fla. -- Dennis Lemma went through the motions of running for sheriff of Seminole County, but it was a forgone conclusion the job would be his once the incumbent, Don Eslinger, decided to retire.

Eslinger, now in his 24th year, is the second longest-serving sheriff in Florida's history. And Lemma has been with him nearly every step of the way as his protege.

Lemma will be sworn in as sheriff on Jan. 3.

 Not with his extensive training and his proven track record of success in climbing through the ranks. Certainly nobody from within was going to challenge the 44-year-old lawman when Eslinger announced in early August and with Lemma named as his endorsed successor that very day.

And while it's true that Lemma stood alone when qualifying officially ended at high noon on June 24, a Friday, Lemma did have an opponent early on. Sort of.

Headline Surfer® interviewed Lemma on Friday morning in a conference room outside his office, with Public Information Manager Kim Cannaday, sitting in and providing background before the interview was recorded.

Among the highlights in the 23.28 interview (2 segments combined):




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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.