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Juan Lynum to hold kickoff fund-raiser for Orlando City Council campaign

Juan Lynum will join supporters of his campaign for Orlando City Council at a kickoff fund-raiser Thursday night.

The host committee for Lynum’s fund-raiser includes the heads of several construction companies that do business with the city, the chairman of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, and his mother, incumbent District 5 Commissioner Daisy Lynum.

The event illustrates the money gap that’s likely to develop between Lynum and his two opponents, Cynthia Harris and Regina Hill.

Records show Hill had raised just $2,928 as of Jan. 31, the most recent reporting period. Harris raised $5,970, but spent $3,504. And both candidates had to pay a $1,047 filing fee after the reporting deadline, reducing their campaign war chests further.

Lynum, meanwhile, can tap his own connections, as well as those his mother cultivated through her 16 years in office.

His fund-raiser is booked at Draft Global Beer Lounge & Grill, a business that occupies city-owned space across the street from the Amway Center.

The bar was at the center of an ethics complaint filed against Commissioner Lynum in 2010. A businessman filed the complaint, accusing the commissioner of steering the lease to the bar owners, who for a time were represented by her son, Juan Lynum. Commissioner Lynum said she had no involvement in the lease negotiations, and the state Ethics Commission ultimately cleared her and city officials of any wrongdoing.

In 2010, the city gave the owners of Draft $195,000 in incentives and eight months of free rent to help the business open, and Commissioner Lynum threw in a $22,000 “emergency business assistance” grant from her district funds, as well.

The business stuck taxpayers with $57,000 in back rent and utilities, which remains unpaid.

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