With city elections nearly four months away, the campaign to change Lakeland’s city government to a strong-mayor system has amassed $231,193, by far the largest war chest in any Lakeland election campaign ever. Read on to see how each of the 15 announced candidates for city office are financing their races and who the biggest donors are.
Thanks to Michael Maguire and Lakeland District 8 for capturing highlights of this morning’s 1 a.m. radio appearance by four candidates for mayor of Lakeland. Christopher Diaz, James Green and Bill Mutz joined Patrick Jones on his heavy-metal show on WMNF community radio.
ALSO: View a photo from the studio | Read Ledger coverage
A Florida Southern student who’s running for mayor learned that professors are correct when they warn to watch what you post on social media. The Ledger reports that after James A. Green announced he’s running for mayor, people started posting screenshots of his Facebook posts (private to most people) that express contempt for liberals, Democrats, transgender people and those who denounce racism. Green, who has since deleted two Twitter profiles, told the newspaper those posts were written during the heat of last year’s election campaign and don’t reflect his current views.
The race for mayor of Lakeland has attracted a fourth candidate: Christopher Diaz, a 33-year-old former Polk Sheriff’s detective and current co-owner of a children’s goods retailer. He told The Ledger he doesn’t have a position on the strong-mayor ballot issue: “It’s up to the voters. I’m looking to be a representative of their voice. … I’m not running for mayor to put my ideals in them. They tell me what do to, and I will serve them to the best of my ability.”
Jason Montgomery (LinkedIn), a 43-year-old Lakeland resident who works in Manatee County as the school district’s athletic director, has filed to run as a Democrat for the Florida House District 40 seat currently held by Republican Colleen Burton. He faces another Democrat, Shandale Terrell, in the August 2018 primary.
Patrick Shawn Jones, a 52-year-old heavy metal DJ and certified sterilization technician (Facebook profile), has filed (document) to run for mayor, offering a strong contrast with businessman Bill Mutz, the only other announced candidate. “I know how it is to ride a city bus to work and have to walk home because the bus doesn’t run at night. I know what the price of bread is at Walmart — I can’t afford Publix,” he told reporter Christopher Guinn.