It looks like a horse race has begun between Orlando City Commissioner Robert Stuart and political newcomer Asima Azam, both of which have raised more than $45,000 in the District 3 race.
Each has raised nearly double the campaign money collected by the eight other candidates who are running for commission seats.
Azam took the lead initially when she held a Jan. 22 fundraiser attended by local attorneys that raised more than $10,000. To date, she has raised $45,199.72 and spent $10,672.14 for a race that won’t be held until November 7.
Stuart did not file to run until March and raised $49,455, including $1,000 each from Mears Destination Services and City Cab Company, $250 from Thomas Ustler, $250 from Ustler Development and $250 Creative Village Development, which are building the Creative Village downtown. His expenditures were $1,339.53 as of the April 18 treasurer’s report
The executive director of the Christian Sharing Center in Orlando is running for his fourth term in the District 3 seat, which includes Baldwin Park, Audubon Park and College Park.
Tom Keen, an aerospace business developer, reported $11,000 in his campaign treasury account, $10,000 of which is a personal loan. The remaining $1,000 is from Herbert Peyton, a Jacksonville business owner. He has spent $4,312, the majority, $4,112, went to You Should Run, a Winter Park consulting firm.
Keen is running against Commissioner Jim Gray for the District 1 seat that includes South Orlando and Lake Nona. Gray, who filed to run April 6 and has not filed a campaign treasurer’s report yet.
There are five candidates vying for Commissioner Regina Hill’s seat in District 5, which includes Parramore and west Orlando.
Ericka Dunlap leads the pack with $8,060 including a $1,000 donation from the Central Florida Fair and $1,000 from the Committee for Progress in Tallahassee. The 2004 Miss America and public relations executive has spent $1,543.55.
Commissioner Regina Hill runs a close second with $5,200 in contributions to hold onto her seat. The report includes a $1,500 personal loan and $500 donations from Orlando Plaza Investment Group and $500 from Lutfi Rental Collection. The incumbent has spent $1,630.
Community activist Cynthia Harris has collected $2,260 and spent $785. She received $1000 from Greenland Suites of Orlando and $200 from Homer Hartage, a former Orange County commissioner.
Jibreel Ali, who runs the One Community, One Orlando nonprofit, has filed five treasurer’s reports for a total of $1,823.12, including a $125 $125 from Mabel Butler, his grandmother who served on the city council from 1984 to 1990. He has spent $174.07.
Stovelleo Stovall, pastor of God is Able outreach, started his campaign with a $100 personal loan and has not raised any money yet. Candidates Ondria James and Betty Gelzer have yet to file a treasurer’s report
Latasha Wright withdrew from the race.