But donations outside of Apopka continues to be a trend

Apopka voters are still about six months away from choosing their next mayor and city commissioners, but some interesting trends are starting to emerge. Apopka Mayor Joe Kilsheimer and Orange County Commissioner Bryan Nelson both announced their intention to run for mayor within hours of each other in March. After those announcements,  they took different approaches in starting times. Nelson aggressively campaigned and raised funds immediately, while Kilsheimer waited until June to begin fundraising.

Kilsheimer spotted Nelson a $33,000 lead before he started, but after raising over $17,000 in August, he has cut Nelson’s lead and actually took the lead in cash-on-hand.

However, the trend of donors being from outside of Apopka continued in August.

 Kilsheimer raised $17,590, which increased his total contributions to $33,175. He has spent $8,976.80, which leaves $24,198.20 in his campaign account. His donations ranged from $250-$1,000.
Apopka Mayor Joe Kilsheimer raised $17,590 in August.

 However, only three of those 26 donors were from Apopka, which means that 55 of Kilsheimer’s total of 59 donors are from outside the city.

County Commissioner Bryan Nelson raised $3,125 in August.
 Last month Kilsheimer pointed out that it’s still early in the process, and predicted that by the conclusion of the political cycle those donations will balance out.
 “We have hundreds of supporters inside Apopka and outside Apopka,” he said. “By the time we get to the election, that will be clear.”

Nelson raised $3.125 in August, which brings his total fundraising tally up to $42,285. He has spent $20,101.50 on his campaign effort, which means he has $22,183.50 on hand. In August, Nelson had 11 donors (nine of them from Apopka) that gave contributions ranging from $25-$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, and the vast majority of our contributions continue to be from the citizens of Apopka.”

In the Seat #1 City Commission race, Alexander Smith extended his fundraising lead over Gene Knight with a $720 haul, which included four individual donors giving him contributions ranging from $20-500. Smith has raised a total of $5,821.15 and spent $3,407.29 on his bid to succeed Commissioner Billie Dean for the seat, which leaves him with $2,413.86 on hand.

“Fundraising 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.”

 Knight raised $372.73 in August, which came from three individuals. He has spent $494.14 on his campaign, which leaves him with $903.59 on hand. Knight was active in August, but not so much on the campaign trail.
 “Everything’s been going pretty good,” he said. “We are getting a good response, and donations are coming in. I’ve been busy this month helping Habitat for Humanity build houses in South Apopka. I also helped my son get his place secured during the hurricane… as he was called up by the National Guard. I helped bag sand for people that needed help at Edwards Field. Now I’m helping my neighborhood out after the hurricane, to help wherever I can, to get everybody back to normal as possible.  I love getting out in the community and helping out. We are still out of power at my home, but once everything is back in order, I will be hitting the streets, and knocking on doors again.”

Dean has announced he will not run for re-election.

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 September 10th.


  1. Yes the mayor is raising money from people that don’t live here, what is he going to do ,let them vote in our election, there is no reason people not living in this city should be giving him money, unless they expect favors from him on top of that he is draining down our reserves, this has to stop now


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