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Buddy Dyer picks up $140K for Orlando mayoral re-election bid

Dyer picked up 94 checks for the $1,000 maximum.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer pulled in more than $140,000 in March to support his bid to be re-elected for an unprecedented fifth term, the latest filings show.

In one month, Dyer collected more than twice as much as all three of his competitors have combined for their campaigns so far. His $140,686 collection in March gives his overall campaign, which started in mid-February, about $177,000 total raised and $147,448 in the bank on March 30 .

Among the other Orlando mayoral candidates, City Commissioner Sam Ings reported raising $16,375 in March, for a total raised of $16,475. Aretha Simons picked up only $625 in February. Through the end of March her campaign has raised just over $34,000 and had just over $22,500 of that in the bank at the start of April. Shantele Bennett has raised less than $500 to date.

Dyer’s big March was fueled primarily by a big fundraiser, officially a campaign kickoff, on March 25.

During the month his campaign received 94 checks of the $1,000 maximum, more than half of those coming from development interests. Others included 15 coming from law firms, lobbyists and lawyers, 10 from other businesses or political action committees, and 20 from other individuals.

Dyer is a Democrat but the office and election are non-partisan. His early campaign finance support shows significant backing from various Republicans. Among his March donors were former Lieutenant Gov. Tony Jennings, former Orange County mayoral candidate Rob Panepinto, former Sanford Mayor Larry Dale, and restaurateur John Rivers, who has been a big supporter of Republican candidates.

Other donations include a $1,000 check from Full Sail University founder Ed Haddock, $1,250 from Creative Village developer Craig Ustler and his companies; $1,000 from water engineering consultant John Miklos, whom Gov. Ron DeSantis recently booted off the St. Johns River Water Management District amid reported allegations of conflicts of interest; and $2,000 from various trusts set up for Dorothy McAuliffe, former first lady of Virginia.

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 scott@floridapolitics.com.

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