A kick-off fundraiser for Orlando Police Chief John Mina‘s campaign for Orange County sheriff brought out Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, and a bipartisan who’s-who of Central Florida political figures Thursday night.
The $250-per-person fundraiser was headlined by Dyer, who appointed Mina to be the city’s police chief in 2014 and has already formally endorsed his sheriff’s candidacy; and Jacobs, who works hand-in-hand with the sheriff’s office, and offered her support to Mina Thursday night.
The two mayors, the top local officials from the Democratic and Republican parties, were joined by more than 60 other elected officials, political consultants, fundraisers, lobbyists and former officials, including the mayors of every Orange County city and most of its towns, at Mina’s kickoff fundraiser at the Dubsdread Ballroom Thursday night.
Mina is facing retired Florida Highway Patrol Chief Jose “Joe” Lopez in the contest for what will be an open Orange County sheriff’s position. Current Sheriff Jerry Demings is running for Jacobs’ job, Orange County mayor. He’ll have to resign, opening the sheriff’s job up for a special election.
Mina is a registered Democrat running as an independent. Lopez is also a registered Democrat and is currently filed to run as such, but is expected to change his status to independent in order to qualify for the ballot.
Besides Dyer and Jacobs, the host committee included state Reps. Bruce Antone and Amy Mercado, both of Orlando; Winter Park Mayor Steve Leary; Apopka Mayor-elect Bryan Nelson; Windermere Mayor Gary Bruhn; Eatonville Mayor Eddie Cole; Winter Garden Mayor John Rees; Ocoee Mayor Rusty Johnson; Maitland Mayor Dale McDonald; Edgewood Mayor Ray Bagshaw; Belle Isle Mayor Lydia Pisano; Oakland Mayor Kathy Stark; Orlando City Commissioners Jim Gray, Regina Hill, Tony Ortiz, Robert Stuart, and Patty Sheehan; Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph; Orlando City Attorney Mayanne Downs; airports board chairman Frank Kruppenbacher; former Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon; former state Rep. Chris Dorworth; former County Commissioner Scott Boyd; and dozens of other key figures in Central Florida politics, including Alex Martins, John Morgan, Mark NeJame, Jim Pugh, Wayne Rich, Harris Rosen, David and Jacqueline Siegel, Hal Kantor, Roger Chapin, and Charlie Gray.