County Lines, City Limits

Lowe leads all in fundraising for city elections


Published: Monday, January 18, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 17, 2010 at 11:02 p.m.

With city elections two months away, Gainesville City Commissioner Craig Lowe has raised substantially more money in his campaign for mayor than any other candidate.

Through Dec. 31, the cutoff date for the last reporting period, Lowe's campaign had raised $12,797 from a total of 190 contributors.

By comparison, mayoral candidate Richard Selwach had $2,900 in campaign funds - with all the money coming through contributions to his own campaign, according to reports posted on the Supervisor of Elections Web site.

Lowe was first elected to the City Commission in 2003 and subsequently re-elected in 2004 and 2007. Lowe defeated Selwach in that 2007 race, receiving 79 percent of the votes cast, while Selwach received 10 percent. In 2009, Selwach was one of four challengers for the at-large District 1 City Commission seat of Jeanna Mastrodicasa. He received approximately 6 percent of the votes cast.

In this year's race to succeed Lowe as the city commissioner for District 4, City Plan Board member Randy Wells had a slight fundraising advantage over former County Commissioner Penny Wheat through the last reporting period. Wells' campaign had raised $1,880 in contributions, while Wheat's campaign had $1,635 in contributions through Dec. 31.

The other two announced District 4 candidates, recent University of Florida graduate Nathaniel Sperling and homeless activist Pat Fitzpatrick, have not been out amassing campaign war chests. Sperling's campaign had raised $25. Fitzpatrick, who received about 10 percent of the votes cast in a 2007 run for the District 4 seat, had no contributions.

There is still time for candidates to enter - or leave - the two races. The official qualifying period for candidates starts at noon Jan. 25 and runs through noon Jan. 29. The city of Gainesville election is scheduled for March 16.

County CAPP funding: Alachua County commissioners will meet Tuesday to discuss proposed changes for the Community Agency Partnership Program (CAPP), which provides funding to nonprofit social service agencies.

Following a reduction in the amount of available funding and, therefore, the number of agencies funded last year, a majority of the County Commission decided to narrow the focus of the program during a November discussion.

The proposed plan coming back before them on Tuesday would make funding priorities out of programs that provide food, health care and shelter/utilities assistance to the needy. Only registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit agencies would be eligible to apply.

The County Commission's special meeting on the CAPP program is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday on the second floor of the County Administration Building.

Headed to Hawthorne: The Alachua County Commission will head to Hawthorne Tuesday evening to have a joint meeting with the Hawthorne City Commission. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at Hawthorne City Hall, 6700 S.E. 221st St.

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