The VOICE of Apopka Politics
By Reggie Connell/The Apopka Voice Managing Editor
The months of November and December are not typically considered high-profile in local politics, but the Apopka election cycle of 2017 may prove that theory wrong. A record-number of contributors (105) donated to seven Apopka candidates for office heading into the holiday season, while two new candidates emerged for a run at the Apopka City Commission Seat #2 held by Commissioner Diane Velazquez.
One thing that did not change, however, is the razor-thin margin between Apopka Mayor Joe Kilsheimer and Orange County Commissioner Bryan Nelson in fundraising.
Kilsheimer led all candidates in November and has nearly equaled Nelson’s overall lead in total contributions. Nelson is challenging Kilsheimer in the 2018 Apopka Mayoral election.
Nelson raised $4,950 in November, which brings his total fundraising tally up to $52,335, $110 more than Kilsheimer. He has spent $22,764.84 on his campaign effort, which gives his campaign $29,570.16 on hand – $1,100.46 ahead of Kilsheimer. In November, Nelson had 32 donors (30 of them from Apopka) that gave contributions ranging from $50-$800. 27 of his donors were individuals, while five were from businesses.
“We continue to receive enthusiastic support from the Apopka community with 30 checks from Apopkans just this month,” Nelson said.
Suzanne Kidd, a candidate for the Seat #1 City Commission, extended her fundraising lead over her three opponents with a $4,541 month. Kidd had 30 individuals and two businesses donate between $25 and $1,000. Kidd’s total donations now total $15,136. She has spent $4,195.60 on her campaign, which leaves her with $10,940.40 on hand and gives her a sizeable lead over all of her Seat #1 opponents. 15 of Kidd’s 32 donors were from Apopka.
“I want to thank my many friends and supporters here in Apopka who continue to generously back this effort to bring integrity and thoughtful, principled deliberation to our City Council,” Kidd said. “It’s an honor to be their voice to continue moving Apopka forward in a positive way.”
In the Seat #2 race, Velazquez has finally been challenged by two candidates – Leroy Bell and Alicia Koutsoulieris. However, only Bell turned in a November report, which shows $100 in donations. Both Koutsoulieris and Velazquez filed to run for Seat #2 in December and therefore did not report any fundraising in November.