It’s early, but most of the contenders for Orange County Commission haven’t gotten off to a big fundraising start, indicating that the major challengers haven’t entered their respected races and many of the big donors are keeping their checkbooks at home until they do.
There has been no fundraising from the two candidates in the Orange County Mayor race. Robert Menlanson has given his campaign a $2,250 loan, while Harry Legrand-Torres has loaned his campaign $30.
There are at least half a dozen major contenders weighing a run to succeed Mayor Teresa Jacobs in what should be a costly countywide race that will cost several hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In District 2, Patricia Rumph has raised about $4,400 since December. Incumbent Commissioner Bryan Nelson has announced he’s running for Apopka Mayor opening up the seat next year.
In District 4, Nicolette Springer could be considered the exception in the slow starting field with over $10,000 raised in the first month of her campaign. The race to succeed Jennifer Thompson which has seen the field swell to as much as 6 candidates, has now shrunk to three with Maribel Cordero and Kevin Ballinger posting little fundraising activity so far in their campaigns.
With Orlando District 1 Commissioner Jim Gray formally announcing his reelection campaign for next year, contenders previously looking at that seat could turn to the open District 4 contest and run there.
There currently aren’t any candidates that have filed to challenge District 6 incumbent Victoria Siplin.
This time in 2015, then district 1 Candidate Betsy VanderLey had raised $43.2K in her campaign for the open seat. If you look back at 2013 then challengers Bryan Nelson had raised almost $40K by the middle of the summer and Victoria Siplin had banked $16K en route to her victory, putting the current filed slightly behind the pace.
Large fundraising amounts this early in the election cycle don’t guarantee victory or defeat but can scare away potential challengers and inspire confidence from major donors in the area to bring those checkbooks the next time they’re dropping by a fundraiser.