With six candidates filed to run, the race to represent District 4 on the Orange County Commission may be the most interesting in the county. Lori Harris, an aide to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, filed to run at the beginning of April and is likely to get strong financial support.
She’s received Dyer’s endorsement as well as Kissimmee Mayor Jose Alvarez. So far Harris is the candidate with the strongest entrance to start her campaign. But her announcement didn’t come without controversy as she was accused of being a puppet of city hall. Harris stood on her own, though, and declared that she is running on her own merit.
Because she just filed, Harris doesn’t have any financial reports, but the other five candidates do. Kevin Ballinger, in the race since March of last year, raised $1,400 in March to bring his total to $12,905.
Next up is Susan Makowski, a former aide to Commissioner Jennifer Thompson. After Harris’ announcement, attention shifted from Makowski. No matter for her though, it didn’t stop her money. She raised $32,140 in March and has more than $85,000 in her campaign account.
After Makowski lands Nicolette Springer, another candidate who has been in the race for more than a year. Raking in $7,277 last month, Springer has raised a strong amount of money, $60,590.
Springer has a tough road ahead. With Harris and Makowski positioning themselves as two of the stronger candidates monetarily, she’ll need to work hard to ensure that her name isn’t lost in space. Ballinger doesn’t have much money and isn’t showing signs of increasing his earning potential. He’s like Springer in that he’s been around awhile and will have to find alternative ways to keep his name in the public.
With the election less than six months away, the candidates should begin to separate themselves soon.