Lakeland campaign contribution reports for July aren’t a whole lot different than June’s tally. While reports from the two groups on either side of the strong-mayor debate haven’t been posted online yet, it’s probably safe to say that the Strong Lakeland group still has the largest pot. City Commission candidate Larry Durrence has collected the largest number of contributions, while Scott Franklin has the largest dollar total among commission candidates. Many thanks to Michael Maguire, for keeping campaign reports accessible and searchable on The City Zen Ship and for providing the chart below of contributions to date:
Is it just me, or does it look like anchor Jen Leigh, a Lakeland native, chokes up a bit at the end of Merissa Merino’s report?
Former Mayor Buddy Fletcher’s last public appearance at Lakeland City Hall was Dec. 21, 2015, when current Mayor Howard Wiggs declared that Lake Bonny Park would be renamed Fletcher Park on Lake Bonny in his honor. Fletcher, 84, died Tuesday at Lakeland Regional Medical Center from complications arising from a recent stroke. #lkld
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Skip ahead to 13:00 to see the start of the debate. Saturday night’s two-hour debate was hosted by LkldTV and sponsored by Bella Viságe. It was moderated by Brian Dockery. Panelists promoting a Lakeland strong mayor were FSC political science professor Bruce Anderson and consultant Matt Doster. Panelists urging a vote against the strong-mayor charter were former City Manager Gene Strickland and former City Attorney Joe Mawhinney.