Randy Langley, 51, has lived on Longboat Key for 10 years, most of which he’s been involved in island developments.
Randy Langley swore he’d never get into politics.
His late father served as a Florida legislator for decades, spending months away from his Clermont home each year to represent people who Langley said he thought were ungrateful.
“Nobody ever says thanks,” Langley said. “They only call up to say nasty things to your dad.”
"I live here — I want to be involved with how my taxes are spent." – Randy Langley
But now the 51-year-old has changed his mind and is running as a candidate for the Longboat Key District 5 Town Commission election.
Langley grew up in Clermont, a once-small town about 20 miles west of Orlando, he said. It was in this town that, at the age of 17, a poisonous orange tree thorn punctured his hand.
He went to the hospital, where a nurse asked him if he was single, which he was. She suggested he meet her daughter, Charlotta, Langley said.
But when he went to pick her up, his date surprised him, Langley said.
“She was 14 years old,” Langley said. “So I went home and picked up my brother, and when I came back with one of my little brothers, she had her little sister.”
He and Charlotta became friends, and once she began her pre-med program at the University of Central Florida, they started dating, Langley said. They’ve been married for 20 years, he said.
Langley started college at the University of Florida but didn’t finish in part because at the age of 18, Langley said he was arrested on charges of felony grand theft auto. He said he’d gotten wrapped up in a racket that snatched cars for owners who owned more than they could afford to pay. But by the time police arrested him, Langley said he’d quit the operation.
“I admitted to everything, there was no trial,” Langley said. “Why admit to it? Why not? Personality — it was over, done.”
Now, more than 30 years since his arrests, Langley said his civil rights have been restored through a pardon from the state’s Office of Executive Clemency.
But those judgments did impact Langley’s career — he said he’s always been self employed because of it. Although he received a degree in health service administration from the University of Central Florida, Langley said he spent the majority of his working life laying tile, selling cars and developing real estate, which he did full time for some 15 years.
When he moved to Longboat in 2007, Langley said he came to “semi-retire” and spend more time with his wife and two sons. But then, in 2008, he bought the Cedars Tennis and Fitness Club.
In 2010, Langley, who had by then started Barrier Island Realty Group Inc., and a partner bought mortgage loans for The Colony Beach & Tennis Resort from Bank of America, months before the historic resort closed its doors. The price was not disclosed.
“I was busy again,” Langley said of that time, “and that’s not what I wanted to do.”
So in 2012, Langley sold his interest in the Cedars Tennis Resort and Barrier Island Realty Group Inc. to Resort Vacation Accommodations. Langley and his partner, David Siegal, sold their interests in the Colony to Unicorp National Developments Inc.
Unicorp last summer paid Colony Lender LLC, of which Siegal and Langley were stakeholders, more than $22 million. Langley is now free of commercial interests on Longboat, he said.
“I’ve been in front of city councils and town commissions for 25 years,” Langley said. “I live here — I want to be involved with how my taxes are spent.”