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Friday, February 1, 2019

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer files for re-election

Posted By on Fri, Feb 1, 2019 at 12:28 PM

  • Photo by Monivette Cordeiro
Back at it again, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer has filed for re-election, his campaign announced Friday.

Dyer has served as the City Beautiful's mayor since 2003.

"I have been honored to serve our residents and look forward to continuing the momentum of our city and region," Dyer says in a new release. "I am proud of what we have accomplished, but I know there is more work to be done. I am more optimistic today about Orlando's future than I have ever been. Together with our commissioners, city employees and business and community leaders, I am confident Orlando will remain one of the top job-growth markets and tourism destinations in the country."

The remainder of the mayoral candidates field is, um ... interesting.

Aretha Simons, a military veteran who launched her campaign in November 2017, works in the business of helping launch non-profits.

In a news release from her campaign, Simons says the current administration is failing to address what matters most to the community. She says the current administration is funding development projects that will force residents to relocate without an affordable housing plan.

"We're ready for a new direction, a new leader with a new voice," Simons says. "It's 2019; it's time to get it going."

According to a report in the website Orlando Rising, she's written several books under the name Aretha Janine Olivarez, including The Best Guide for Nonprofit Corporations.

Jentri Casaberry, whose social media profiles state he's the president and founder at Innovation Speakers Association, is another candidate. When Orlando Weekly attempted to visit the link provided to the organization's website, available on Casaberry's Instagram page, it didn't work.

We've reached out to him for comment.

Shantele Bennett, whose Facebook page states she's a "trusted advisor regional expert in Orlando," is also in the running. A report from the Orlando Sentinel reports that Bennett was charged with attempted second degree murder in May 2016 after an altercation with a roommate that ended with Bennett shooting the lady in the chest with a pistol.

Comparisons of Bennett's mugshot following the altercation and photos available on social media confirm she was arrested following the incident.

We've also reached out to Bennett for comment.

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