Decision Apopka 2018

By Reggie Connell/Managing Editor of The Apopka Voice

A campaign, in many ways, is like a business.

 It manages assets (contributions) and liabilities (expenses) in its pursuit of a profit. And in this case, a profit is the majority of the votes cast in an election.

Orange County Commissioner Bryan Nelson raised $16,240.

How a campaign differs from business is that only one candidate is successful. There is only room for one winner in this industry. Two great companies like Coke and Pepsi or Apple and Microsoft cannot coexist, and small businesses in the same industry (election) netting a small market share are little more than an afterthought.

There’s also an absolute certainty that a political campaign will go out of business on election day – win or lose.

With that said it only makes sense that campaigns do a lot of spending in the last days of an election. And the business of politics was good in Apopka these last few weeks.

Apopka Mayor Joe Kilsheimer raised $12,635.

From the beginning of January until the first week of February, the 10 candidates running for Apopka mayor and city commission both raised and spent contributions at a record clip.

329 donors gave the candidates $72,464.67 in the first five weeks of 2018, which is an astounding 34% of the entire fundraising haul of all campaigns. And despite the record month of fundraising, spending outmatched it.

 Going into the last month of the election, the 10 candidates for elected office in Apopka spent $83,564.48, which is 39% of everything collected in the entire election cycle. After this spending spree, the candidates only have 30% of everything they raised for the entire campaign season for the stretch run.

Alexander Smith raised $7.166.67.

And no one exemplified the breakneck pace of raising and spending than mayoral candidate Bryan Nelson.

Nelson, the Orange County Commissioner for District 2, led all candidates with 60 donors giving him $16,240. This pushes his total contributions to $69,675, which also leads all candidates in the five-week period ending February 9th, Nelson spent $23,157.87. This leaves him with $18,981.31, the most of any candidate.

Suzanne Kidd raised $4,295.

Not far behind was incumbent Apopka Mayor Joe Kilsheimer, who had 53 donors contribute $12,635, which gives him $65,485 in total contributions. Kilsheimer also spent at a high rate in the five-week period, 24,878.19, which leaves him with $13,001 for the final month of the campaign.

In the Seat #1 race, Alexander Smith followed the raise and spend trend by raising $7166.67 and spending $8376.88. It was his best month of fundraising and the first time he led the period since Suzanne Kidd entered the race. Smith had 48 donors, which is also his personal best. He is left with $1563.97 in his campaign coffers.

Theresa Mott raised $3,355.

Kidd continued her consistent fundraising with 46 donors giving her $4295. She remained the Seat #1 leader in total contributions with $20,981 and has $11,130.84 on hand which far exceeds her Seat #1 opponents heading into the stretch run. Kidd spent $5,476.14 during the period.

Gene Knight, also a Seat #1 candidate, had 10 donors contribute $1,570 to bring his total to $3,147.73. Knight spent $1,976.76 and has $123.44 left in his campaign account.

Gene Knight raised $1,570.

Theresa Mott, also running for Seat #1, raised $3,355 from five donors, which brings her total campaign contributions up to $6,980.84. Mott spent $999.84 on her campaign this period and has $5,746.79 left in her campaign account.

Alice Nolan raised $14,835.

In the Seat #2 race, challenger Alice Nolan led the way after only one month on the campaign trail, raising $14,835 from 49 donors. That is also her total contributions figure, and after spending $11,709.70 this period has $3,125.30 on hand. Nolan leads all Seat #2 candidates for the period and for total contributions.

Apopka City Commissioner Diane Velazquez raised $7,470.

Incumbent Commissioner (Seat #2) Diane Velazquez also got off to a late fundraising start, but raised $7,470 from 33 donors during the period, bringing her total contributions up to $9,450. After spending $4,904.38 during the period, she has $4,542.62 for the final month of the campaign, which is the most of any Seat #2 candidate.

Leroy Bell raised $4,130.

Leroy Bell, also a Seat #2 challenger, raised $4,130 this period from 18 donors, which increases his total contributions to $6,130. Bell spent $1,544.72 this period and has $3,684.18 on hand.

Alicia Koutsoulieris raised $768.

Alicia Koutsoulieris, also running for Seat #2, raised $768 from seven donors this period, which raises her total contributions to $868. Koutsoulieris spent $540 this period which leaves her with $328 in her account.

Election day in Apopka is March 13th.

27 COMMENTS

  1. Sorry Reggie, this report is not what I was expecting. This does not show WHO donated to the candidates, and HOW MUCH they donated. I want to know WHO and HOW MUCH has been given to each candidate. This report doesn’t gauge the important part, as to who the candidates will possibly owe political favors to, if they elected, nor which businesses, vendors, and developers are trying to seek their favors. Let’s see that kind of a report Reggie…..

  2. One candidate in particular seems to be” flying under the radar” as far as the campaign reports that lists the names of the donors, and amounts, as I have only seen loans to this candidate, by this same candidate to their self, listed so far to date, and that seems very suspect to me, and now what? No telling……???

  3. Time is marching on, and the election will be here very soon, and this one particular candidate has so far, been “flying under the radar. ” Time for them to lay their cards on the table, and let’s see what they got, and from who, and how much, no more hiding. Transparency!

  4. I have planted my tomato, bell pepper, and sunflower seeds in one of those mini greenhouse trays with the clear lid. Those 72 little peat pellets you just add a whole 2 liter soda bottle of warm water in the tray, and wait for the pellets to swell up, and then pull back the fine mesh netting and then plant the seeds. It absorbs the water FAST! The little rounded pellets are made from Canadian peat, but when those things swelled up, I swear, all I could think of was ANUVIA!

  5. I don’t understand why the lists of the people who are donating are not being printed in the media reports, now that the campaigns are in their last stages, as it is not up to the candidates to do the reporting on their own contributions collected, to the media, that is the reporter’s jobs, that is all I am saying, and I think the voters deserve that information.

    • I’m sorry you are disappointed. The Apopka Voice doesn’t publish the names of donors, but rather the amount the campaigns are bringing in each month, their total contributions, and the amount of funds remaining in their campaign accounts. There were 329 donors this cycle. I’m not going to publish a list that long. If you are interested you may request the document from the City of Apopka or read a publication that posts that list.

  6. I could go and make a public records request at city hall….but even I am not that nosy! Really, I don’t care, honestly. It was just the anticipation of waiting on seeing the reports in the Apopka Chief, or on the Apopka Voice, and then now, that I see all these multiple donors of each and every candidate, I still don’t know who or how much, but I repeat, I DON’T CARE, I TRULY DON’T. Stay calm, chill out, and press on, until you win the Monarchy of the United Kingdom of Apopka candidates….LOL, and hopefully, for my own sanity, this election will be over soon.

  7. That is just the point Reggie, I am not seeing a publication anywhere, that is listing the donors, and I don’t understand why, as at first, they were printed in the Apopka Chief, but haven’t been in a good long time, and I don’t understand why, since the campaigns are in their last stages. I know you don’t represent the Apopka Chief, of course, but 329 is not that long to list, as you have unlimited space, right Reggie? Come on Reggie, print them. You don’t have more pressing issues than Apopka news, do you?….LOL

  8. Reggie, why did you modify my response to you? I was nice enough to you, in my response. I still think you should print the lists of the donors, as a service to the voters. I can just see all the registered voters lining up at the city clerk’s office to request a public records search of the campaign donor lists…( a joke, Reggie, don’t take it personally).

  9. Ok, I see you did post my two responses. When I responded the modification alert showed up, and I couldn’t figure out why. Sometimes I leave a letter out of my email or something like that, and I looked to check, but it and my name id was correct, so I thought you were ticked or something. Then I responded again, and the same modification alert, but now I see they did post. Okay, no problem.

  10. This is my last posting before I go to bed. At the mayor’s debate, see, Bryan Nelson talked about the campaign donation reports, to look at them, and see who the donors are, and see, Mayor Kilsheimer said to look at the campaign reports also, and to examine them all you want, that they are there for all to see, but then…..you don’t see them published anywhere, now, and that is my point! Now I am out of here, putting this laptop to rest, and going to bed, goodnight everyone….as I don’t care! I truly don’t!

  11. Channel 6 this morning was reporting about some Winn Dixie’s are going to be closing, as the parent company of Winn-Dixie is preparing to file for bankruptcy again. I certainly hope that the Errol Winn-Dixie won’t be one of the locations closing…..there are 500 Winn Dixie stores mostly in Florida, and 200 are set to close. Winn Dixie stores are in other southern states too, but mostly Florida, and that is where most of the closings will be. I didn’t catch the full story as my free TV’s reception was not coming in too great this morning.

  12. When Amazon acquired Whole Foods that was a major shake-up to the grocery store businesses. Also Aldi and Lidl, cheaper chain- food stores, have taken a toll on the regular grocery stores. I have never seen a Lidl grocery store, myself, but I have been reading the articles on channel 6, as to what has been Winn-Dixie’s problems are that are leading to the closings, and that was listed, Lidl, but like I said, I don’t know anything about that store, but I did see it listed. ?????? Has anyone ever saw one of these stores, Lidl???? I haven’t……

  13. Channel 6 Orlando is reporting that the bankruptcy filing could come as soon as next month, and then we will know which Winn-Dixie stores around Central Florida will be closing. I hope Errol Winn-Dixie won’t be on the list! I shop around everywhere, but I like the Errol Winn-Dixie, and go there a lot. My little Winn- Dixie Christmas bear set of salt and pepper shakers of the boy bear, Winn, and his girl, Dixie, are crying from my china cabinet shelves………

  14. And just think about all that money that Winn-Dixie’s parent company spent when they renovated the frontage of the Errol Winn Dixie not very long ago. I kind of thought then, that was too much of an investment that was not necessary, and the same thing was happening at most of the other Winn Dixie stores, all new frontages being put in. Aldi in Apopka just recently reopened after their new frontage that was redone, so are we going to see them going under soon too? Will all the groceries be going under? I have to wonder. I don’t want to have to have my hamburger dropped from a drone to my front yard by Amazon…….

  15. I am looking over your article here about the election campaigns, Reggie, and how you are comparing them to businesses, and about how all campaigns go out of business with absolute certainty, win or lose, on election day, so you say, and I have been pondering that thought. My only thought about what you said, goes back to Trump. Did that sucker’s campaign go out of business on his election day? Because if it did, great, glad it did! But to me, it seems, his campaign didn’t really go out of business, because when exactly was it that he started, (or continued) collecting for his next term’s run? Was it election day or inauguration day??? It all seems like one big blur to me….That jerk, Trump! LOL

  16. Just think if all the campaign donations collectively were added together since the beginning of this election, this go round, that has been given to the Apopka City Council Candidates, and if they went directly into the city’s reserves, what good that could accomplish toward the common goal of building back up the city’s reserves! Of course, that is not going to happen, but just saying…….

  17. Just think if all of the corporate campaign donations were collected, and the people’s donations, and if all of those billions went into our nation’s general funds, how much good could be accomplished for our country, and our people’s needs. Just saying…….

  18. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to see a candidate, any candidate, for any election office to state, I am only going to get petitions signed, or pay the fees to in order to qualify, and run for elected office, and I will not accept any campaign donations, what-so-ever from anybody……

  19. And if all the candidates did that, it would level the playing field. This would never happen of course, if left up to the candidates. Only if all elected positions, required this to be that way by mandates and laws enacted. Of course, that is not going to happen!!! It is a cesspool process, all the way from federal, state, county, down to the local level, and the Supreme Court ruling really was the icing on the sour pound cake, if you ask me….. I can’t do anything about it, but I can spout off about the cesspool process of politics!!!

  20. And speaking of cesspools, that pond down there at the City Center looks like one. We drove by there this morning, and the green pond scum is icky looking and covers the entire surface of the pond. What happened to the plan to put fish in there to eat the pond scum?

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