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Buddy Dyer expands mayoral campaign war chest

Dyer’s campaign has $355k in hand. His three opponents combined: $45K.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer continued to attract big checks in May to support his campaign to be re-elected to a fifth full term, expanding his war chest to about 10 times that of any of his mayoral election opponents.

Dyer posted $88,725 in campaign contributions in May, including 62 maximum-donation $1,000 checks, many from real estate development interests and companies that do business with the city of Orlando.

He has three opponents in the non-partisan November election. Among them, Orlando City Commissioner Sam Ings picked up $5,700 in May campaign contributions, and retired Navy veteran Aretha Simons gathered $4,915.

That leaves Dyer with $355,393 collected and about $276,000 in the bank at the start of June. Ings has raised $33,474 so far, and entered June with $25,125 in the bank. Simons has collected $41,079 so far, but entered June with just over $12,000 left in her account.

A fourth mayoral candidate, Shantele Bennett, reported no campaign finance activity in May and has almost no money in her campaign account.

All of them are registered Democrats.

Dyer’s contributions included three $1,000 checks from different political committees representing Realtors; $1,700 in two checks from companies affiliated with Full Sail University; and several from transportation companies, including Florida East Coast Industries, which is affiliated with the Virgin Trains USA railroad constructing a higher-speed passenger train line from South Florida to Orlando International Airport.

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 Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused.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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