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Newcomer Karen Sindel pulled in more than $11,000 in contributions during January, topping the month’s fundraising totals in the race for the District 1 seat on the Escambia County Commission. In-kind contributions to Sindel’s campaign totaled an additional $1,055.

Sindel filed on January 19 to run for the seat, which is being vacated by outgoing commissioner Wilson Robertson.

“I am humbled by the outpouring of support that this campaign has received in its first 12 days,” Sindel said. “I am now more motivated than ever to prove that these individuals have invested in someone who will bring positive change to District 1.”

Despite the strong numbers, Sindel’s fundraising still trails that of opponents Jesse Casey and Jeff Bergosh, who filed to run for the seat in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Bergosh leads overall fundraising with more than $34,000, with around $16,000 cash on hand remaining. Casey has raised around $24,000, but has spent $19,000 of that total.

Sindel’s largest individual contribution came from hotelier Julian MacQueen and real estate developers Teresa Levin and Robert Rinke. Companies connected to MacQueen and Levin/Rinke gave a total of $2,500 each. Bergosh’s largest contributors include the Lewis Bear Company and Bear family members, who contributed a total of $3,000; five attorneys from the Levin Papantonio law firm, who contributed a total of $2,500; developers Tony Terhaar & Jim Cronley, whose companies contributed a total of $2,000; and attorney Ed Fleming, who contributed $2,000. Casey’s largest single contribution is a $15,000 self-loan to his campaign.

“I am running to continue my over 20 year history of public service and help ensure District 1’s future success,” Sindel said Monday in a release. Sindel said her priorities include creating a master plan for District 1’s projected growth, which includes Navy Federal Credit Union’s ongoing expansion, the 640-acre OLF-8 development adjacent to Navy Federal, and the “Beulah Exchange,” a planned connection of Beulah Road to Interstate 110.

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