The Orlando City Commission District 3 race between incumbent Commissioner Robert Stuart and challenger Asima Azam continued in July to be the place where most of the big money is headed, and both candidates finished the month with just about the same amount left in the bank.

Stuart raised $10,019 during July, giving him a total haul of $114,349. Stuart’s campaign also spent $47, 475 during the month, leaving him with $66,874.

Stuart collected more checks during the month, 44, yet had only one maximum check of $1,000, from CFI Resorts Management of Orlando. He drew several $500 checks, including from lobbyist Orlando Evora, the GreenbergTraurig law firm of Doral, and the Schutts law firm in Miami.

Azam raised $12,905 during July, leaving her with a total raised of $82,659, and $63,802 in the bank after expenses.

Among her big new donations were $1,000 checks from 11 individual contributors, including Ruth’s List and  Democratic fundraiser Bob Poe.

In District 1, incumbent Commissioner Jim Gray raised the most of any Orlando City Commission candidate in July, $18,650, giving him a total raised of $40, 775. After expenses, Grey finished the month with $35,284 cash in hand.

Thirteen of Gray’s 31 donations in July were for the maximum of $1,000, including full-amount checks from several development and real estate management companies, including Picerne Development Corp., Oasis at Wekiva, Lake Weston Apartments, Reich Properties, Jay Thompson Primo Development, and Lake Point Senior Apartments.

Gray’s opponent Charles Thomas Keen III raised $2,774 during the month. Overall he has raised $19,058, but he has spent most of that, leaving him with $5,472 in the bank.

Keen’s contributions included one maximum check, $1,000 from Fanny Perez of Orlando.

In the eight-candidate battle royal form the Orlando City Commission District 5 seat, only three candidates’ financial disclosure reports for July had been posted by mid-afternoon Friday, including that of incumbent Commissioner Regina Hill.

Hill reported raising $4,900 during the month, giving her a total raised to date of $27,180. With expenditures, she has $21,207 left.

Among her big donations were $1,000 checks from the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association, and that organization’s CFHLA Political Committee, plus $1,000 from the Orlando Magic.

Challenger Cynthia Harris raised $750 in the month for a total raised of $3,542. After expenses, she has $1,838 left in the bank.

Challenger Sarah Elbadri reported raising $1,920 in July, giving her a total of $3,061 raised. She finished the month with $2,033 in the bank.

Among the other challengers, Betty Gelzer had reported finishing the previous month, June, with $8,663 in the bank; Ericka Dunlap with $7,224 left; Jibreel Ali with $1,634; Ondria James with $1,000; and Darryl Sheppard has not yet filed a campaign finance report.


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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