Orlando Republican Dean Asher raised more than $164,000 in June, easily outclassing his competition in the race to replace term-limited Senate President Andy Gardiner in District 13.
Most of the money came through Asher’s newly formed political action committee, Allegiant Friends for Florida. The committee’s inaugural month only brought in two checks, but they came from some deep pockets – the Realtors Political Advocacy Committee chipped in $100,000 and the Orlando Regional Realtor Association sent him another $49,000.
The remaining balance of $15,250 came in through Asher’s campaign account. The first-time candidate got $1,000 checks from five Disney subsidiaries alongside contributions from All Aboard Florida lobbyist Russell Roberts, Orlando City Commissioner Jim Gray and Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Chair Frank Kruppenbacher. A slate of Orlando-area Realtors and development companies rounded out the haul.
The June numbers far exceed those posted by his Democratic opponent, Judge “Rick” Roach, who raised $4,733 through the same date. Asher’s Republican opposition, Chuck Sheridan, hasn’t filed his June campaign finance report yet, though it’s unlikely he’ll post anything in the same ballpark.
With his campaign account and PAC combined, Asher is sitting pretty with about $289,000 cash on-hand. While the numbers are nearly 10-fold better than Roach’s on-hand total of $30,965, it’s likely that some formidable opponents could still enter the race.
Gardiner confirmed rumors his wife, Camille, was considering a run for the seat when he was a guest on Political Connections on June 28, saying she would decide “relatively soon.”
District 13 has a Republican tilt and is probably safe, though former Democratic state Reps. Karen Castor Dentel and Linda Stewart both live in the district and could make a play for the seat as well.