Bill Sublette picks up fundraising momentum in Orange County mayor's race - Florida Politics

Bill Sublette picks up fundraising momentum in Orange County mayor’s race

Orange County School Board Chair Bill Sublette picked up money momentum in December in the contest for the Orange County mayor’s office, out-raising three other major candidates who all had decent but not great months of campaign fundraising.

Sublette’s campaign reported he had raised $30,275 in December, bringing his campaign total to $100,700 so far, with just under $99,000 left in the bank at the end of the year. In addition, his new independent political committee, The Committee for Orange County’s Future, reported raising another $15,000, with no expenses, putting his combined available funds at $114,000.

That still places him well behind Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings and businessman Rob Panepinto overall, but both of them, as well as Orange County Commissioner Pete Clarke, raised between $17,000 and $25,000 during the final month of 2017.

Sublette opened his campaign with a strong October, followed by a more modest November. His December haul included 69 checks, the majority of them from individuals, including 14 checks for the maximum $1,000 donation. He also contributed $1,250 to his own campaign on Dec. 31, pushing his official campaign over the $100,000 mark. The Committee for Orange County’s Future started with $10,000 from Freedom Network Management of Orlando, and $5,000 from SGM Engineering.

Demings raised $20,225 during the month, bringing his total donations to $325,000 in six months of campaigning. Minus expenses, he finished the year with $293,000 in the bank.

Panepinto, president of Florentine Strategies of Winter Park and past chairman of Orlando Inc., the Orlando regional chamber of commerce, raised $17,101 in his official campaign fund and another $8,000 in his independent political committee, Vision Orange County. Combined the two committees have raised $312,000 and finished the year with a combined $246,989.

Clarke reported raising $17,160 in December. That brought his total raised to $36,000, and left him with about $33,000 in the bank at the end of the year.

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at
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