Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings raised another $80,000 for his campaign and political committee in his quest to be elected mayor of Orange County.

Demings reported bringing in $48,950 for his official campaign and another $32,349 for his political committee, Orange County Citizens for Smart Growth during the month of May. That brings his total raised over $1 million between the funds, and he entered June with $959,013 left to spend.

His top competitor in the money chase, former Orlando chamber of commerce president and Winter Park entrepreneur Rob Panepinto, reported raising $33,202 for his official campaign but just $7,000 for his independent committee, Vision Orange County. Panepinto now has raised $641,433 overall and ended May with $376,615 left in his funds.

A third major candidate, Orange County Commissioner Pete Clarke, raised $9,050 in May. He now has raised $249,681, most of which coming from his own wallet, and came into June with $220,835 left.

Demings biggest check was from hotelier Terry Shaikh, who contributed $20,000 in May to Demings political committee; while Panepinto’s most generous benefactor in May was Gupta Vishaal, who’s in real estate and donated $5,000 to his political committee.

About The Author

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 Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused.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