Ebo Entsuah is getting noticed all over town: on signs, in the news and in person. He is running for seat 5 against incumbent Diane Travis and taking his civic duty seriously. Catching up with Ebo wasn’t easy but we did it!
TABLET: Where were you born /Where were you raised? When did you move to Clermont?
Ebo: Most people wouldn’t guess this, but I was actually born in Toronto, Ontario. My family moved there from the country of Ghana while my mother was in graduate school and my father was working in immigration.
We lived in the city for a couple of years before my parents applied for citizenship in the United States and they, along with my older sisters and I, then moved to beautiful, sunny Clermont in 2002.
TABLET: What schools have you attended?
EBU: I’m a proud product of the Lake County education system and State University System of Florida! After we moved to Clermont in 2002, I was enrolled at Cypress Ridge Elementary before transferring to Minneola Elementary.
I later went on to Clermont Middle, St. Andrews Catholic School and then on to East Ridge High School. After graduating, I attended Florida State University on an academic scholarship and was also able to walk on to the football team (Go Noles!)
Currently, I am studying at Florida State online to get my Master’s in Legal Studies and Regulation, so I can better learn the ins and outs of government regulation and how it can improve or (in most cases) hinder small businesses.
I’ve spent the majority of my life in the Lake County education system and have seen firsthand the positive growth in our education system, but I’ve also seen the flaws in it.
TABLET: Go Noles! Describe how it was to be part of the Florida State Football team?
Ebo: It was one of the most amazing and influential experiences of my life. Coach Fischer and his staff made sure we were prepared for success on the field, but most importantly in the classroom and in our community.
The year we won the National Championship, it wasn’t just about all of us, coaches and teammates, putting in work on and off the field, it was about achieving greatness. That instilled a drive in me to be the best that I can be and to stay hungry. I still keep in touch with a lot of my teammates and consider many of them my closest friends.
TABLET: What do you like most about South Lake County?
Ebo: There truly is something special about South Lake County, and that topped with the rolling hills and great weather is what drew my family here nearly two decades ago. Coming from up north, it seemed like a no brainer to come to Clermont!
We knew it was the right decision when the community welcomed us with open arms and my parents were able to raise us while chasing the American dream. Today, I love that Clermont has become such a melting pot and hot spot for various people around the nation to come and plant their roots. This is why I will fight to keep people here.
TABLET: Did you have a favorite someone who influenced your life/ made a difference in your life?
Ebo: Definitely my parents and especially my father. He grew up with very little in a faraway country. He didn’t even wear his first pair of shoes until he was 12!
With his hard work and the opportunities he was afforded in the states, he and my mother were able to make a happy, comfortable and successful place for themselves in this great country and right here in the Clermont community. My parents made every sacrifice they needed to give my sisters and I the best of opportunities.
TABLET: What are your Hobbies?
Ebo: If I’m not researching education and infrastructure policy or watching basketball (Go Magic!) or football (Go Noles!), I’m either reading Stephen King novels or working out.
I recently acquired a new-found love/hate relationship with running thanks to the amazing running community here in Clermont. With their support and encouragement, I just completed my first ever 5k with Clermont parkrun and am looking forward to doing more!
TABLET: What do you do for a living?
Ebo: Recently, I worked as a legislative aide on Capitol Hill for Congressman Ron DeSantis after previously working as an intern for Congressman Al Lawson.
Through my work in our nation’s capital, I was able to delve into the policy areas that deeply affect not just the people of Florida, but specifically the people of Clermont. Even while working at the federal level, I knew I wanted to go back home to my community and become involved at the local level.
TABLET: Why have you decided to become a candidate for Seat 5, challenging incumbent Diane Travis
Diane has done a great job driving healthy living in our city. Growing up and living in Clermont throughout the years, I’m inspired by the progress and growth I’ve witnessed. But, I want to create a Clermont that works for every citizen.
I chose to run for this seat because public service is something that I’ve always been passionate about and understand how vital it is to get involved. Together with the people of Clermont, we can shake things up and create solutions to the problems citizens care about that haven’t been discussed.
There are three events in my life that I will never forget: Winning the National Championship at FSU, graduating college, and becoming an American citizen. After taking that oath, I wanted to dedicate myself to making a difference in my community and to create a Clermont that works for everyone.
TABLET: What makes you believe that you are the person for the job?
Ebo: As a longtime resident of the city with added experience at the federal level, I understand what our residents care about while bringing a fresh view that will broaden our focus to include more than just a healthy lifestyle.
As the “Choice of Champions,” it is vital that we go beyond focusing on athletics and sports and improve all areas of the city. Champions are able to adapt and grow in any area, and for this community that should mean avenues like health care, industrial work, music and the arts, and vocational training. Clermont is a city that attracts people from all walks of life, and we should cater to all of them.
TABLET: What do you believe you could do to better serve the community?
Ebo: Work with Clermont residents to address some of the issues they care about most: public safety, infrastructure and transparency in government.
I strongly support the Clermont Police Department, firefighters, and all first responders in our growing community. Encouraging community policing, pushing for proper funding and public support for our officers, and letting them do their jobs unimpeded all help to make our city safer.
Funding is always important when we’re discussing infrastructure, but I will also develop relationships with urban planners and developers who can accommodate Clermont’s growth and enhance the city while keeping the culture and scenery we love.
Lack of accountability is a constant issue in government, so transparency will be at the forefront when I’m serving as councilman. This is why I will work to have city council meetings and hearings available live online and archived for the community to see, as well as have an open-door policy.
TABLET: What is the one thing you would want to achieve in office?
Ebo: Boost economic development and improved quality of life for all Clermont residents by decreasing the “brain drain” in our city. Clermont has a high population of young, educated residents who grow up in the Lake County school system, go off to college and never return here unless it’s to visit their family. There aren’t enough high-paying or dynamic jobs here to stimulate economic growth and draw more quality, decent citizens to our city. Achieving this means a better quality of life for all, regardless of age.
TABLET: Who is your favorite superhero? Why?
Ebo: I love Spiderman. He’s a neighborhood hero with a great sense of humor who doesn’t take himself too seriously but is very serious about helping the people in his community. There’s also something about being stung by a radioactive spider and getting superpowers that seems really cool to me and made me less afraid of spiders.