Today's date is January 28, 2023

2018 Orange County Race For Mayor Heats Up


2018 is starting out well for candidates running for Orange County mayor. Each viable candidate raised over $17,000 in the month of December, which means that the race is really starting to heat up.


Pete Clarke, the commissioner for District 3, pulled in $17,160 in December. That’s his best fundraising month yet. Clarke received a few donations of $1,000, but most came in lower amounts. He’s receiving a healthy amount of grassroots support and proving, slowly, that he belongs in this race.


The sheriff is having a good time running for mayor. Jerry Demings raised $20,225 last month for his campaign account bringing his total to $325,828. Demings is positioned well and has support from the likes of attorney Derek Bruce, local Democratic activist Doug Head, and Burr & Foreman.


Demings is not only fighting a battle with other candidates, he’s also fighting to ensure that he remains the frontrunner. Many are expecting Demings to perform well at the ballot box but also with fundraising, too.


So far he’s living up to the hype for some but showing disappointing numbers for others. Raising over $300,000 is difficult, yes, but there is the belief that a politician like Demings should have well over $500,000 by now.


Up next is newcomer Rob Panepinto, the former chair of Orlando Inc. Panepinto raised $17,101 in December. So far, he has $219,151 for his campaign account and $93,399 for his political committee.


Panepinto continues to impress with his fundraising prowess and will certainly give Demings a run for his money. With over $400,000 in his campaign accounts, Panepinto may have enough to touch every voter in the county by election day.


Lastly, there’s Bill Sublette. The former legislator turned school board chair raised $30,275 in the last month of 2017 and crossed the $100,000 mark for his campaign account. To prove that he’s able to keep up, Sublette opened a political committee that raised another $15,000 in December.


He’s starting to get hot but not explosive enough to catch up to Demings and Panepinto. There’s still a long way to go in the race for mayor, and enough money and room for each candidate to make a lot of noise.


With Clarke stepping his game up along with Sublette, and Demings and Panepinto still raking in the cash, there’s a good chance that we’ll see $2 million combined flowing through this race.

The publisher of the Orlando Political Observer and Gravis Marketing, Doug Kaplan, is Rob Panepinto’s brother.

About Author

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

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