Today's date is January 16, 2022

2017 Election: Orlando District 1 and District 3 Fundraising Show Competitive Races

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District 1

Jim Gray (Incumbent) – Jim Gray is running his first reelection race and seems to be coming along fine. For the month of July, he raised $18,650 to bring his total to $40,775. Gray represents one of Orlando’s fastest growing communities in Lake Nona and likely wants to continue to help oversee that growth.

Gray has received donations from Picerne Management. Lennar Homes’ Brock Nicholas, and others as well.

He’s been quiet as commissioner and doesn’t make much noise from the dais at council meetings. But Gray is formidable, obviously, and will continue to raise money to fight off a strong challenge from Tom Keen.

Tom Keen – Tom Keen isn’t as well known as Gray but is doing his best to keep up monetarily. Keen raised $2,774 for the month of July, which brings his total to $19,058. He’s running about $20,000 behind Gray and will need to run a little harder to catch-up.

But Keen is fighting. In his campaign announcement, Keen said that he wants to manage growth in District 1 to ensure that the quality of life in the area is sustainable.

To remain competitive, he’ll have to work harder to fundraise as incumbent Jim Gray isn’t slowing down.

District 3

One of the more contentious races in the city, the fight for District 3 has made headlines statewide. The incumbent has been accused of using religion against his opponent, and the challenger has been blamed for leaning on identity politics too strongly.

Robert Stuart (Incumbent) – Stuart is an Orlando stalwart. In office since 2006, Stuart has experience and a political deftness that will be tough to beat. In July he raised $9,819 to bring his total to $114,349.

Stuart has received donations from the Realtors Political Action Committee, Associated Builders & Contractors, Central Florida Hotel & Lodging PAC, Waste Management and many others. He’s also been controversial. In July, Stuart was accused of commissioning an insensitive poll aimed at his opponent’s religion.

He’s fought back against those allegations and has said that his opponent is spreading misinformation.

Asima Azam – Azam has made fireworks since announcing her run against Stuart. She has accused the incumbent of being anti-Muslim and said that Stuart is a hypocrite for taking a donation from a politician accused of standing against the LGBTQ+ community.


Raising $12,440 in July, Azam has brought in $82,659. She has donations from Ruth’s List, Democrat Bob Poe, and a host of doctors. She’s keeping pace with Stuart–and judging by her press releases–she’s fighting to ensure that everyone knows about her candidacy.

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Leon Aprile is a pseudonym for different freelance writers that submit articles to OPO.

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