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.


About The Author

The youngest of seven children, Terry O. Roen followed two older brothers into journalism. Her career started as a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, where she wrote stories on city and county government, schools, courts and religion. She has also reported for the Associated Press, where she covered the Casey Anthony and Trayvon Martin trials along with the Pulse massacre. Married to her husband, Hal, they have two children and live in Winter Park. A lifelong tourist in her own state, she writes about Central Florida’s growing tourism industry for Florida Politics and Orlando Rising.

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