Democratic former state Sen. Gary Siplin made an impressive statement toward a political comeback in April when his campaign to be elected to the Orlando City Council raised more than $42,000, swamping all other candidates for any council seats.
Siplin is running for Orlando’s City District 6 seat, which is opening up because incumbent Commissioner Sam Ings is running for mayor instead of re-election.
The other two Orlando City Council seats, for District 2 and 4, do not yet have contests. Both Commissioner Tony Ortiz in District 2 and Commissioner Patty Sheehan in District 4 are seeking re-elections, so far unopposed,
Orlando’s municipal elections are in November.
In April, Siplin’s campaign was showered with support from development interests and others in the city’s business establishment, with 22 maximum $1,000 checks fueling his $42,850 take for the month. In two months, Siplin now has raised $53,200. His campaign also has spent $10,553, so he entered May with $42,600 in the bank.
Siplin’s campaign drew eight $1,000 checks from development interests, two entities representing Mears Transportation, and four grocers. Other big checks came in from HMS Host Food Services, restaurateur Johnnie Rivers, Clear Channel, I-Drive NASCAR, and lawyer Anthony Suarez.
Meanwhile, District 6 candidate Bakari Burns posted a respectable collection of $7,135 in April and has raised about $16,685 overall in his bid for the District 6 seat. Burns entered May with about $12,300 in the bank.
Burns picked up a couple of $1,000 checks from the family of former Orlando City District 6 Commissioner Ernest Page, and one from former Orange County Democratic Chair Doug Head.
Perennial candidate Lawanna Gelzer also filed to run for the District 6 seat in April, though she did not report any campaign finance activity. A fourth candidate, Vicki–Elaine Felder, withdrew in April.
In District 2, Ortiz really has not yet begun to raise any re-election campaign money. He reported having $114 in the bank at the end of April, none of it raised in April.
In District 4, Sheehan has begun stocking a campaign fund. She raised $10,035 in April and entered May with about $18,000 in the bank.