Decision Apopka 2018
After an unexpected early beginning to Apopka politics in March, the momentum has finally slowed in midsummer, and fundraising in July was no dream. Mayor Joe Kilsheimer, after raising $14,350 last month, fell to $1,725 in July from eight donations – three from businesses and five from individuals that ranged between $25-500. He has raised $16,175 in the two months he began to fundraise and spent $5,825, which leaves his campaign account at $10,350.
The drop off does not concern him.
“In an effort to preserve the integrity of the City of Apopka and its citizens, as well as to exemplify the gold standard of citizen self-governance. Please accept the attached proposed citizen campaign finance reform draft for consideration as well as the City of Miami Beach’s summary memorandum outlining the City of Miami Beach’s campaign finance law enacted in 2016. This is not an effort to cast aspersions, but an effort to avoid the unwarranted perception of compromise of any elected City of Apopka official, which subsequently tarnishes the reputation of Apopka and its citizens. It is requested that this item be placed on the August 16, 2017, City Commission agenda for commission discussion and consideration.”
“Thank you for your email of July 31, 2017. The City always appreciates the interest of its citizens in good government, however, the scheduling of agenda items such as the one you propose is accomplished based upon the desires of the City Council. The issue you raise is appropriate to bring up during the Public Comment portion of a regularly scheduled council meeting. At that time, should any council member wish to see the issue placed on an upcoming agenda the entire body can consider its future scheduling.”
Some businesses and individuals would fit the description laid out in the proposal on Kilsheimer’s donor list. However, he believes it is appropriate for everyone to be a part of an election that might effect them.
“It seems inappropriate to take government action to deny groups of people the right to participate in the political process simply because of their business,” said Kilsheimer. “Voters are entitled to look at every aspect of a candidate’s record, including donations, to decide for themselves whom they will elect. That’s why we have laws governing disclosure of contributions.”
Kilsheimer has also opened his campaign with an unusual amount of donations from outside the city of Apopka. So far only one out of 32 donors resides in the city. But Kilsheimer points out it’s still early in the process, and by the conclusion of the political cycle, those donations will balance out.
Nelson raised $2,650 in July, which matches his total for June. His total fundraising tally is at $39,160 since he announced his intention to run in March. Nelson has spent $16,477.77 on his campaign effort, which means he has $22,683.77 on hand. In July, Nelson had four individuals and two businesses give contributions ranging from $100-$1,000.
“We continue to get positive feedback as we push our message out to the constituents of Apopka,” Nelson said. “We continue to get broad support from people who share my vision for a prosperous city. We are thrilled by the momentum that our campaign has maintained.”
In the Seat #1 City Commission race, Alexander Smith extended his fundraising lead over Gene Knight with an $1,140.00 haul, which included 13 individual donors giving him contributions ranging from $20-500. Smith has raised a total of $5,101.15 and spent $1,483.92 on his bid to succeed Commissioner Billie Dean for the seat, which leaves him with $3,617.23 on hand.
“Fund raising efforts continue to be productive and the support of family and friends continues to grow,” Smith said. “We are out knocking on doors and asking those for support as we get our message out. I will be a voice for all the citizens of Apopka.”
Dean has announced he will not run for re-election to Seat #1.
In the Seat #2 race, Commissioner Diane Velazquez announced her intention to run for re-election in March, but has not formally started her campaign, and has not raised any funds towards her bid for a second term. No one, however, has made a formal challenge to her seat as of July 31st.