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Jerry Demings banks $189K in April for Orange County mayor’s race

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings kept the turbochargers firing on his Orange County mayoral campaign fundraising drive in April, bringing in more than $189,000 during the month in his campaign and political committee combined.

The April hauls pushed Demings’ mayoral campaign close to the $1 million mark in money raised and put big distance between him and his rivals entrepreneur Rob Panepinto and Orange County Commissioner Pete Clarke. Going into May, Panepinto had raised just over $400,000, and Clarke just under $300,000.

Demings’ official campaign raised $126,262 in April and his independent political committee Orange County Citizens For Smart Growth brought in $62,749. That boosted his official campaign’s total raised to $568,355, and the fund ended April with $507,852 in the bank. Orange County Citizens for Smart Growth now has raised $403,349, and it finished April with $401,460 in the bank.

It’s the second consecutive dominant month for Demings’ fundraising activities, after he raised a combined $237,000 in March. That total was mostly boosted by a big haul of big checks by Orange County Citizens for Smart Growth, which accounted for $145,000 of that month’s combined revenue through just nine donations. This time the small checks going into his official campaign fund led the way.

Already Demings’ official campaign alone has raised more money than incumbent Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs did in her entire 2010 election campaign, and is approaching the $650,000 Jacobs raised in her re-election bid in 2014.

There still are four months before the August 28 non-partisan runoff election, and six months until the general election, should no one get a majority of votes in August.

Demings latest hauls include $15,000 and $10,000 checks from healthcare providers and a $10,000 check from a Dallas-based real estate developer into his political committee. His official campaign drew 363 donations in April, including 70 for the maximum $1,000 donation. Those included three from Realtors’ political action committees, two from Amscot Financial companies, and one from Loews Hotels at Universal Orlando.

Written By

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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