Fakhoury tops Guinn in mayoral contributions

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Posted August 31, 2021 | By Carlos Medina, carlos@ocalagazette.com

Manal Fakhoury [Submitted]

Manal Fakhoury outraised incumbent Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn during the latest reporting period between Aug. 1-20 and holds an overall lead in funds raised, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Marion County Supervisor of Elections.

Fakhoury raised nearly $41,800 in the latest reporting period while Guinn raised just more than $32,375 during the same time. Fakhoury, however, contributed $6,000 to her own campaign this reporting period, according to reports.

Since the start of her campaign, Fakhoury has personally contributed $11,000 to herself. Guinn’s only personal contribution was $100 he gave to kick off his fundraising in April.

As of Aug. 20, Fakhoury has raised just more than $83,000 while Guinn has raised $63,700, reports state.

In contrast, Guinn has spent just more than $19,000 while Fakhoury has spent more than $65,000 on their campaigns.

Both said supporters are excited about their candidacies.

“It’s been beautiful. People are reaching out on their own asking, ‘How can we help?’” Fakhoury said.

Kent Guinn [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette]

Guinn said he has had to do little fundraising.

“There are people that call me frequently,” he said. “People tell me daily, ‘I want to support you. What can I do?’ Things are going really well.”

Guinn’s contributions are mostly from Ocala and Marion County. Just two are out-of-state contributors. Fakhoury has several contributors from out of state and from outside Marion County.

Of the nearly $41,800 Fakhoury raised from Aug. 1-20, more than $23,000 came from out-of-state or out-of-county contributors.

“I have some out-of-state money, but a lot of it is my family,” she said.

She also said she received a lot of support from contacts through her many national affiliations and business pursuits.

“I have been an active member of the community and even more importantly, people also know my track record,” she said.

Fakhoury has also faced a negative digital and direct mail campaign paid for by Accountability in Government Inc., a political committee.

The Tallahassee-based political committee, formed in 2011, received $15,000 from two Ocala entities in July, according to contribution records from the Florida Department of State Division of Elections.

Cone Distributing Inc., gave $10,000 and Honoring My Father LLC gave $5,000. Doug Cone Jr. is listed as the president of Cone Distributing and Harvey Vandeven is the sole manager of Honoring My Father. Both Cone and Vandeven contributed to Guinn’s campaign.

It is not clear how much money the PAC spent on the negative Fakhoury ads. However, the same political committee is supporting Barry Mansfield and Ty Schlichter in their runs against incumbents Brent Malever in District 1 and Jay Musleh in District 3.

“I’m having to combat what they call dark money and negative campaigning. I’m staying positive with my campaign. I want voters to know there is a different way to win,” Fakhoury said.

Guinn said he has nothing to do with the Accountability in Government group.

“I’ve had a (political committee) campaign against me in the past. I know what it’s like. That’s just part of it,” he said.

City elections are scheduled for Sept. 21.

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