Orlando Sentinel: Buddy Dyer expands fundraising lead over mayoral opponents as race for open council seat heats up

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer broadened his fundraising edge in his bid for a fifth term as candidates for an open City Council seat ramp up their campaigns.

In the April reporting period, the incumbent mayor’s political committee took in a $25,000 check from NBC Universal and $15,000 from developer Jim Pugh. The state committee has brought in $213,159 since late February.Advertisement

Through traditional campaign fundraising, in which contributions by individuals and entities are capped at a maximum of $1,000, the Dyer campaign reported $89,750 last month, city records show. Dyer received five $1,000 checks from various Walt Disney companies, and $5,000 total from seven Universal executives.

The 16-year incumbent continued the early trend of out raising his top competitors for mayor, City Council member Sam Ings and Army veteran Aretha Simons. Ings brought in $11,210, with support coming from mostly smaller donors and four maximum $1,000 checks.

Simons’ campaign reeled in $2,105, bringing her total contributions to $36,165.

A fourth candidate, Shantele Bennett, hasn’t raised funds.

With Ings abandoning his District 6 seat on the council to run for mayor, it thus far has set up a three-way bout for a seat on the dais. Former State Sen. Gary Siplin, CEO of the Health Center for the Homeless Bakari Burns and community activist Lawanna Gelzer have filed thus far.

More candidates could still enter any city race, as qualifying isn’t until September. Commissioners Patty Sheehan and Tony Ortiz have also filed for re-election but so far haven’t drawn opposition. Election Day in Nov. 5.

In the District 6 race, Siplin had the most lucrative month of the three hopefuls, bringing in $42,850 from numerous businesses, including Mears and City Cab of Orlando, as well as construction, engineering and real-estate firms. His campaign account ballooned to $53,200.

Burns raised $7,135 last month, bringing his campaign to $16,685 in contributions. Burns’ campaign is advertising a formal campaign kickoff event next week.

Gelzer, president of the National Action Network’s Central Florida chapter, hasn’t begun fundraising yet.

View the original article here.

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