Watchers of the HD 12 race have waited to see whether establishment money would swing toward Terrance Freeman. His fundraiser at Jacksonville’s SunTrust Building next Tuesday offers clues.
An all-star host committee includes names Duval Republicans know, including Charlie Appleby, Bruce Barcelo, Lindsey Brock, Councilman Aaron Bowman, Mel Clark, Rose Conry, Rory Diamond, W.C. Gentry, Dane Grey, Deno Hicks, Charles Moreland, Karyn Morton, Michael Munz, Alexander Pantinakis, Kara Tucker, and Scott Wiley.
Appleby is best known for being founder and CEO of Advanced Disposal, the politically active company that backs many more GOP winners than losers locally.
Barcelo’s biography on the Committee for Open Democracy webpage delineates his considerable accomplishments, as a pollster in Jacksonville with a 90 percent success rate, and as an avatar of democracy building efforts around the world.
Brock, a maritime lawyer, has been instrumental in recent years in St. Johns River Ferry efforts.
Bowman, for whom Freeman works as a Council Assistant, is a former commanding officer of Mayport, and is a senior VP of JAXUSA Partnership, in which role he helms business development efforts.
Clark, Morton, and Pantinakis have been instrumental in the Duval County Republican Party; the former two are current officers of the party, and Pantinakis is the youngest Republican State Committeeman in Florida history.
Gentry is a veteran local politician, who now helms the Jacksonville Journey board.
Grey is a local businessman who was acknowledged by Gov. Rick Scott this year in the State of the State address.
Hicks is local managing partner of Southern Strategy Group, which was instrumental in Jacksonville’s success this year in pushing through local legislation while evading the dreaded veto pen.
Moreland works very closely with Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, and was an indispensable asset in Curry’s successful campaign in 2015. As was Munz, a key early supporter of Curry who lent financial and logistical support, even when Curry lagged behind other prospective candidates in name recognition in 2014.
Freeman thus far lags behind other HD 12 candidates in fundraising. Yet the April report may tell a different story.