Orange Democrats Spring Reception to feature Dyer, and State of Party Address by County Chairman

The Orange County Democratic Party, has announced that their Spring Reception will take place next month on May 17th at the Sanctuary, in Downtown Orlando.

The Program features Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, and the County Chair Carlos Smith. Other elected officials listed on the Host Committee include Congressman Alan Grayson, Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph, Orange County Commissioner Tiffany Moore-Russell, and Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings.

Other notable attendees include Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Allison Tant and former Orlando Police Chief and Current Candidate for Orange County Mayor Val Demings.

Smith will be giving the State of the Party Address at the reception. Look for local Democrats to springboard from this event into the election cycle, where they’ll try to protect their gains from 2012, while trying to win seats on the County Commission and the Mayor race. They will also have to do their part for likely Gubernatorial Democratic Nominee, former Republican Governor Charlie Crist, as he takes on his predecessor Rick Scott in what will be one of the most highly watched races in the country.

You can read the flyer below.

orange county dems spring reception

Demings Campaign Announce Campaign Kick-Off for Saturday

The Val Demings Campaign has announced that her campaign for Orange County Mayor will Kick-Off on Saturday, April 5th at Lake Eola Park which will begin at 11am. An email to supporters had this to say.

If we weren’t excited before, we certainly are now. We’re building the largest people-driven movement Orange County has ever seen and we’re kicking it off April 5.

Our supporters have been passionately getting ready and we’re eager to get started. We hope you will join us next Saturday. Click here to add your name and join the movement.

Like many of you, I have been inspired by Val Demings and I can see the leadership she will bring to Orange County. Val is truly someone who will serve us as she has always done.

One of the first supporters I met in this campaign was Grace. Grace works about 50 hours a week and is working to put herself for school. She told me that she’s just looking for a leader who will skip the political scandals and the waffling and simply work for the families who live and work here.

It’s people like Grace who are fueling this movement. It’s why we’re putting in the extra effort everyday. And it’s why I will walk on Saturday.

It’s past time for Orange County to have a leader who gets it. Stories like Grace’s are why it is so critical that we elect Val Demings in August. It’s why I’m asking you to join me and so many others when we launch our field campaign and take these issues to the voters on Saturday. Please join us!

The former Orlando Police Chief and Congressional Candidate hopes to defeat Incubment Teresa Jacobs later this year.

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Jacobs gives opening statement for reelection on local political TV

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs gave what could be considered her first television campaign appearance of her reelection bid, this past Sunday, on News 13′s Political Connections public affairs program (that show’s site here). She spoke about a number of issues that she’ll no doubt have to talk about countless times before the voters head to the polls in a few months.

She started off reviewing what got her where she was today. “I’m seeking a second term for the same reason that I sought the first term back in 2000 (for county commissioner) when I first ran.” Jacobs said and spoke about losing a battle on a road that was constructed through the middle of her neighborhood, which led to her approaching then County Mayor Linda Chapin about improving procedures. “That for me, was the turning point. That was the moment I went from being a spectator to being fully engaged. I got so excited by the fact that an individual, a plain old citizen, like me could walk in and make suggestions and change the way they did these transportation projects, for future neighborhoods”.

When asked about unfinished business Jacobs said there were a lot issues. She brought up county government being more open and transparent to citizens, as well as a youth mental health commission that was being developed to help those that needed it.

The conversation then turned to the sweeping charter change proposals, that were brought up during a county commission meeting earlier this month. Jacobs said most of the proposals had merit. She supported non-partisan races and expanding the commission to bring closer, direct representation to voters. She didn’t like the timeline which rushed voters on such important changes.

The next subject was Textgate. Jacobs brought up that the technology was new and that she produced all but one text message (tech glitch) which were exchanged between lobbyists and commissioners, during the earned sick time fight in 2012. Despite “no nefarious intent” as reported by the State Attorney, the Mayor and 4 Commissioners had to pay $500 for deleting text messages, which are considered public record. She also said that the county has implemented Text Guard, a program that captures every text and stores it on a main server.

They spoke specifically about her campaign next. Jacobs touted support for being Pro Business and financial support that she wasn’t getting before her first Mayoral run, but said her favorite support were smaller donations from individuals. They turned to outside sources interfering in local races “I think county races should be non-partisan and local”. Her opponent Former Police Chief Val Demings has had large sums of money from organizations outside of Orange County. “I think how you raise your money is important and who supports you is important to the voters” she said in closing.

There was also an unscientific poll on the Mayor’s race that was brought up at the end of her appearance (you can vote on that HERE). At the time of this post, Jacobs was beating Demings 74% to 11% but those numbers are automated and informal.

Demings is scheduled to be on the same program next week. You’ll find coverage of her appearance here.


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Here is how going partisan in the Orange County Mayor Race could Back-Fire on Val Demings

Yesterday, the Orlando Sentinel published a story on former Police Chief and Congressional Candidate Val Deming‘s push to make the Orange County Mayor Race a partisan affair (that story HERE) and use incumbent Teresa Jacobs‘ party affiliation as a Republican against her.

The political math behind the strategy is simple enough. Orange County is a Blue County. Get your voters to the polls and you win. Sounds fairly simple. Right? It might be.

However, there are some real risks in going partisan for Demings, and that’s what I want to talk to you about today.

Let’s breakdown it down.

David Jolly vs. Alex Sink: OK. What does a Congressional race across the state have to do with a Mayoral race here in Orange? I’ll explain. Jolly’s win over Sink was considered a measuring tool for the mood of the country. Sink tied her campaign to President Obama and the Affordable Care Act and it costed her dearly. Right now, the President’s approval rating sits at 41% and while other Democrats all over the country, are creating space between their campaigns and the President, Chief is trying to embrace him. Are you sure you want to do that?

It’s a mid-term with higher Republican turn-out: Medicinal Marijuana will off-set this a little bit but expect more Conservatives at the polls this time around. Democrats took a beating in 2010 including Jacobs’ last opponent who went partisan. Most of your Supervoters are in Windermere, Winter Park, Apopka, and Winter Garden. Those are safe red. Demings has to make her money in East Orlando, Pine Hills, Eatonville, and Downtown. Is that going to be enough without Presidential race on the ballot? I’m not convinced.

The outside money will turn-off Voters: Deming’s fundraising haul up to this point includes a ton of outside, blue money. The local politicos in the area of the actual race don’t have enough faith in Demings to write her a check. Jacobs could go after Demings on this and it would play effectively in her favor. She’s got bi-partisan support

Partisan Politics Aren’t Relevant at the County Level: This is the biggest question mark of the entire strategy. Eventually, Demings will have to stand across the stage and debate Jacobs on the issues that affect the residents of Orange County, that they can control. If Demings tries to use R vs. D rhetoric on the debate stage, she’s going to look ridiculous in front of the voters (on TV likely). Her team is pushing this message and I’m convinced up to this point, it’s not only because she doesn’t know County Government like Jacobs (12 years to zero experience) it’s because that’s the only language her campaign leadership can speak. It’s a very small and impulsive political thought spectrum they’re operating on. It’s also a liability.

Drag Capitol Hill Politics to Rosalind Avenue and you’ll lose votes. I know it.

So there. Just a couple of reasons these tactics could backfire on Val Demings. I’ll reiterate that the math is still in her favor and it’s essential for her to turn out her voters but there are risks involved and everyone knows… You can lose once. Don’t lose twice. I’d hate to see a candidate like Chief take more bad advice from her campaign like she did in 2012.

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Jacobs touts smaller donations in February fundraising haul of 45K

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs has had much success early on in her reelection campaign fundraising, with almost half a million dollars in her warchest, mostly from a diverse group of businesses here in Central Florida. Now, she’s flexing her support at the grassroots level.

In a release the Jacobs campaign had this to say.

“The latest financial filing shows Mayor Teresa Jacobs receiving strong support from local grassroots donors. Nearly 90% of the donations she received during the period came from Orange County, with 72% of the donations being $100 dollars or less. Total donations for the month were close to $45,000 with no scheduled fundraisers.”

“We’ve worked hard to give working, middle class families a voice in Orange County government,” Mayor Teresa Jacobs said. “The fact that they are willing to donate ten, fifteen or twenty dollars of their hard-earned money means a great deal to me.”

Not all of her haul was from small donations. She also received maximum donations of $1000 from apartment complexes in the area and another round of contributions from interests related to Full Sail University.

Jacobs is currently in a reelection fight with former Orlando Police Chief and Congressional Candidate Val Demings. Last week, an early poll illustrated that the incumbent held a double digit lead over the former top cop of the City Beautiful (that story HERE). She’s raised about 540K for the campaign and has about 440K on hand.

Demings wasn’t too far behind Jacobs this month. She raised 40K, to bring her up to 166K for the campaign with about 142K on hand. Her donor details haven’t been released but up until this month, Demings has been getting a lot of her donations from partisan organizations. The Orange County Mayor Race in non-partisan.

Jacobs’ campaign manager pointed this out in his release.

“Val Demings, Mayor Jacobs’ challenger in the race, recently received a $50,000 donation from the Florida Democratic Party. Where the $50,000 originated is still unknown.”

“Large donations from faceless groups usually indicate you have outside interests at play,” said John Dowless, campaign consultant for the Jacobs campaign.

When details of Demings’ haul are posted, you can read about them here.


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