As Tuesday’s runoff for a Lakeland City Commission seat nears, the two candidates who were eliminated earlier this month — Steve Frankenberger and Ken Post — have both endorsed Shandale Terrell. His opponent, Mike Musick, reports new endorsements from former Mayor Howard Wiggs and current Polk County Commissioner Neil Combee.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on Friday; it was updated Saturday morning to incorporate information from campaign finance reports filed Friday afternoon.
In campaign finance, Musick experienced a surge during the last two weeks, raising $25,750 and bringing his total war chest to $40,040.
In the same period, Terrell raised $2,280 in new contributions, bringing his total to $20,951.52.
Terrell and Musick are competing for the southeast district seat on the Lakeland City Commission. The vote next Tuesday is a runoff, since none of the four original candidates received a majority of the vote in the April 6 municipal election.
Musick’s fund-raising boost was fueled by 22 donations of $1,000, the limit for each city campaign cycle. It included 10 $1,000 donations from organizations controlled by local real estate investor Gregory Fancelli, who supported Frankenberger in the general election with similar funding.
The Fancelli family was also represented by a $1,000 donation to Musick from the Julia J. Fancelli Living Trust.
Terrell reported two $1,000 donations in his entire campaign — both from civic activist Michael Maguire, one for the general election and one for the runoff.
Terrell relied mostly on smaller donations. His campaign reports list 185 donations, for an average donation of $113.25.
Musick lists 91 total donations, for an average donation of $440.
Citizenship activist Maguire has turned the PDF campaign files found on the city website into a searchable table on his website, The City Zen Ship. Check the website’s campaign finance page to see the names of donors and the amounts contributed.
Musick has received endorsements from Business Voice of Greater Lakeland (political arm of the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce), Lakeland Realtors, Lakeland Professional Firefighters, and Polk County Builders Association. Many of his donations are from individuals connected with real estate and construction businesses.
Since the general election, Terrell reports earning endorsements from Equality Florida Action PAC (which endorsed Frankenberger in the general election) and retired Circuit Judge Bob Doyel.
Terrell also earned endorsements from the two former candidates for the seat, Frankenberger and Post. Neither was listed among Terrell’s donors.
Post’s endorsement of Terrell cites diversity and inclusion. “We need our commissioners to represent more than the business community,” Post said.
Frankenberger said Terrell is “with no doubt” the best candidate for commissioner. “Dr. Terrell will be a commissioner who listens to all citizens,” Frankenberger said. “He will not be a partisan politician. Lakeland needs Dr. Terrell and his passion for our great city.”
The seat representing Lakeland’s Southeast quadrant was vacated by Scott Franklin when he resigned in relation to his successful run for U.S. House of Representatives. Don Selvage has stepped in until the election is determined, his second time as interim, after serving two four-year terms as commissioner.
Serving as interim commission for the last four months has been “an honor,” Selvage said.
He said he appreciates that commissioners discuss issues and listen to all sides of a debate. Meetings are an opportunity for all voices to be heard, including those who are under-represented, he said.
“We have a mayor and commission that does exactly that,” Selvage said. “I’ve never had occasion to question the motives of my colleagues in a particular vote, even when I’ve disagreed with the outcome. This is a body that disagrees without being disagreeable – rare in today’s political discourse. Lakeland is in good hands and I look forward to supporting whoever wins Tuesday’s runoff election.”