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Past to Present
An open letter from Austin Arthur about his past and where he is today.

When I was 17 years old, I dropped out of high school and got my G.E.D. I then started a rock band and where I often placed myself in bad situations and acted impulsively.

When I was 23 years old, I was going to meet some friends after work at the House of Blues. Suddenly, someone shoved me, it was dark, and I instantly became disoriented and defended myself against the unknown attacker. The physical altercation was a shock to me and during my defense, more people began to pile on, in my mind I assumed I was being attacked by a gang.

Upon inspection of House of Blues surveillance tapes, the person that assaulted me was a security guard at the establishment. He stated that he shoved me because he mistakenly believed I was someone else who had been sneaking into the establishment that night and was underage. I believe that person had possibly physically engaged with the security officer that night prior. He made a mistake, and this is why the charges were dropped.

At the Knights Library a very close friend of mine had been drinking heavily and was emotionally distraught regarding some personal struggles he was going through. I stepped to the side of the building to find him kicking sprinkler heads, during that moment police spotted this activity and arrested both of us. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and not kicking sprinkler heads, this is why the charges were dropped.

In my life I have found myself in other troubles including losing my driver’s license. This happened during the course of a busy period when I opened Gymnastics USA, had my first child, and my father died (all occurring within the same 45 days). I did not realize it was suspended and several months later, I was pulled over after visiting my recently widowed mother in Ocala.

My life, during that time and several years thereafter, was met with a lot of emotional conflict including a confrontation with my former father-in-law. We were in an argument that turned physical after words were stated (that were since retracted) by my former father-in-law, including an insult on my wife. Things quickly and briefly turned physical at that moment. My wife Kellie was there, I stepped away, and she calmly drove us home from the incident. My former parents-in-law called the police, resulting in my arrest for the physical altercation.  My former parents-in-law have testified to the fact that they regret making the phone call and pleaded for the record to be sealed. This was a very private and personal time where we were dealing with family struggles of a very private nature, tensions ran very high that afternoon and culminated in words and actions that all of us regretted.

At this time, my former parents-in-law and my former wife, have both given positive statements of my character to the media, and fully support my endeavors toward public office.

I speak about my faith a lot and sometimes people ask why, the answer is because I remember who I was when I was not walking within my Christian religion. I have grown tremendously throughout my life and gained wisdom through real life experiences; I am not proud of every portion of my past but value the lessons I have learned throughout my journey in life. I have learned self-control, patience, kindness, and humility. It is why I serve on over a dozen community organizations, why I keep my family rooted in our faith, and why I am running. I know the power of redemption and taking what was meant for evil and using it for good to transform your life. 

My past is part of the story of the person I have become today, and I am not ashamed of it, nor do I hide from it. I am not a perfect person, and I am trying to do the best I can in life to be kind and serve others.

Austin Arthur

To the reader, call or text me anytime to chat further on this or anything else via cell: (407) 305-2052

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TESTIMONY
I was present the evening of the conflict with Austin’s former parents-in-law, I was seven months pregnant with our first daughter at the time. Austin and his former father-in-law were both upset with each other over personal matters and the tonality was increasing until Austin’s former father-in-law said something about me that was very hurtful and untrue. In that moment, Austin responded briskly and physically with Sam for what he said about me. Austin was defending my honor, however of course, he instantly realized that the incident became physical in a flash and he calmly walked away and we got into the car safely without a rush to go home. Since that time, his father-in-law retracted his comments and they both made amends. We share a child between two families and ever since that time things have been wonderful and without incident or argument ever since that night. We are blessed to have two families that share values and principles of faith and family. 

Kellie Arthur
Wife of Austin Arthur

TESTIMONY

The night of the incident, passions were running high and things were said out of pure emotion. In retrospect, calling 911 was a distinct regret. In fact, we have since spoken that if there was any way to dial “119”, that is absolutely what we would do. This situation was something that could have been well handled within our family and through our communication with each other. We pleaded for Austin’s case to be sealed because it absolutely does not reflect his character and who he is. He is a wonderful father to our granddaughter (in addition to so many other quality times, he takes her to breakfast weekly prior to taking her to school so that he can share one-on-one time with her!) He attends and worships at his church with his family each Sunday without fail. He lives his faith by example and leads his family in their faith as well. Additionally, he wonderfully co-parents with our daughter without issue or conflict. He is a man of integrity, we are proud that he is part of our family and we fully support him through life and his endeavors. Again, the incident was purely a private family matter that for a brief moment in time, veered out of control. We regret what occurred and again, it was solely a family matter. A single snap shot simply does not define an individual.

Sam and Loree Eberwein
Austin’s former parents-in-law

TESTIMONY

Austin Arthur is the father of my eldest child and we have always prioritized the well-being of our daughter and have maintained a positive co-parenting relationship. My husband, Tony, and I seamlessly co-parent with Austin and his wife, Kellie, without any issues. Our daughter is fortunate to have two loving homes where she is cherished and cared for deeply. Our dissolution of marriage has no bearing on Austin's role as a loving, supportive father to our daughter. Austin is a man of high integrity, principles, and faith. He possesses a genuine passion for leadership, both within his family and the community. My family and I fully support Austin's campaign, and if we were residents of his district, we would undoubtedly vote for him.
 

Molly Smigielski
Former Wife of Austin Arthur

Austin has been vetted and fully endorsed by Law Enforcement.

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Orange County Sheriff’s Office

Fraternal Order of Police #93

Orange, Brevard, Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia

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My Story
By Austin Arthur

Austin's Story
Austin tells his personal story, including dropping out of high school, starting a band, touring the country, being arrested, and struggling with the sudden death of his father. He also dives into his achievements and revivals, such as becoming a firefighter paramedic and a successful entrepreneur having employed hundreds of people within Orange County, Florida. His faith journey and personal development have created within him a heart to serve the community on over 12 different community boards such as Eight Waves Children and Family Services, West Orange Habitat for Humanity, Challenge 22 to End Veteran Suicide, The West Orange Scholarship Foundation, and several others. His life experiences gave him insight and wisdom that brought him to a point where he realized Orange County, Florida was suffering a crisis of leadership. In his story he explains that this is why he is now running for Orange County Commissioner in District 1. He seeks to bring back common sense and community driven leadership.

Major Changes in 2020
In 2020 Austin began to make major changes in his life and businesses. Including announcing that his gymnastics center and other businesses will now be faith-based companies. This is also when he personally started to devote a majority of his time toward serving in partnership throughout the community as a volunteer for various causes. It was also during this pivot that he began to serve on boards and committees within West Orange County, now culminating to over a dozen boards and half a dozen more community committees.

Austin Shifts Gears
AT GYMNASTICS USA, AND IN HIS LIFE

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Austin also serves proudly on many boards throughout the community: 
 

The City of Winter Garden's Architectural Review & Historic Preservation Board , The West Orange Scholarship Foundation, West Orange Habitat for Humanity, One Winter Garden, Eight Waves Children & Family Services, Lift Disability NetworkWinter Garden Rotary Club, Central Florida YMCA, Explore and Soar Children's Museum, and The Local Winter Garden. Austin is Chairman of Challenge 22 to End Veteran Suicide and he is also a proud member of community organizations such as the Friends of Lake Apopka (FOLA)West Orange Chamber of Commerce, WG100, Bloom & Grow Garden Society, The Florida Bicycle Association, and as a past board member of the West Orange Political Alliance and the 2024 Chair of the West Orange Boy Scout Eagle Dinner

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