Some candidates far outpacing others in fundraising


Published: Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 6:16 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 6:16 p.m.

With election day less than a month away, some Gainesville candidates are far outpacing others in campaign fundraising.

Last week saw the release of two campaign finance reports — one covering the month of January, the other the first week of February.

Combined, District 2 incumbent Todd Chase received 174 contributions totaling $28,725 over the two reporting periods.

His campaign raised $26,030 in the January reporting period. That was by a wide margin the largest candidate haul for a fundraising period this election cycle.

Chase received 128 contributions from individuals, 45 from businesses and made one $25 contribution to his own campaign. Some individual contributors included County Commissioner Susan Baird, former City Commissioners Tony Domenech, David Flagg and Jim Painter, former County Commissioner Chuck Clemons, former state representative Perry McGriff, Hawthorne commissioner and current County Commission candidate John Martin, downtown developers Ken McGurn and Billy Scheel and Gainesville Tea Party President Laurie Newsom.

Some of Chase’s business support included construction firm Charles Perry Partners Inc., Butler Plaza developer S. Clark Butler Properties, Tioga Town Center, road builder John C. Hipp Construction, Fletcher Construction and Fletcher’s Newberry Road limited liability corporation.

Chase’s two largest expenditures since the start of January were $2,013 to Ozean Media, a Republican campaign consulting firm, and $1,884 to Campaign Graphics in Ocala for campaign signs and stands.

District 2 candidate Sheryl Eddie raised $1,210, including $500 of her own money. The 11 individual contributors to Eddie’s campaign included former city commissioner and current Alachua County Democratic Party state committeewoman Jeanna Mastrodicasa and current County Commissioner Robert “Hutch” Hutchinson.

Her largest expenditure was $856.15 to purchase campaign signs from Gainesville communications company Alta Systems.

District 2 candidate Cheri Brodeur, who has said she will not actively seek campaign contributions, put $600 of her own money toward her campaign.

Brodeur’s largest expense has been the $322.48 candidate qualifying fee.

In the District 3 race, candidate Craig Carter received 93 contributions totaling $13,485. Some of the individuals contributing to his campaign included Baird, Clemons, Martin, nightclub and restaurant owner and former City Commission candidate Rob Zeller, U.S. Rep Ted Yoho’s wife, Carolyn Yoho, Alachua County Republican Party state committeeman Robert Woody, former City Commissioner Mac McEachern, Scheel and Newsom.

Some of Carter’s business community support included Charles Perry Partners, John C. Hipp Construction, RTTH Real Estate Holdings and the Cheshire Family Trust.

Carter received 71 contributions from individuals and 22 from businesses.

His largest expenditures were $3,580 to consulting firm Best Policy Corp. for campaign signs and $1,198.82 to Best Policy Corp. for mailers.

District 3 incumbent Susan Bottcher received 40 contributions totaling $3,385. All contributions came from individuals. Some of her contributors included Alachua County Democratic Party Treasurer Don Hergert; Gladys Cofrin, a significant financial supporter of Democratic candidates and causes; Michelle Ott, a board member with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights group Equality Florida; and environmental activist and past city candidate Rob Brinkman.

Bottcher’s largest expenditure was $394.79 to Big Daddy’s Signs in Winter Garden for campaign signs.

In the at-large race, candidate Annie Orlando received 61 contributions totaling $6,515. Some individual contributors include Martin, former City Commissioner Mark Goldstein, local attorney Gary Edinger and residents of the Turkey Creek Golf and Country Club who brought noise complaints about the biomass plant to the city.

Business support included contributions from O’Steen Brothers Inc. and Saul Silber Properties. Orlando received 54 contributions from individuals and seven from businesses in January.

The last single expenditure was $945.06 to Atlas Screen Printing, a company Orlando owns with her husband, for signs, stakes and other supplies.

At-large candidate Helen Warren received 60 contributions totaling $3,860. Some contributors include School Board members Gunnar Paulson and Leanetta McNealy, teachers union president Karen McCann, former county commissioner Cynthia Chestnut, Cofrin, Brinkman and Alachua County Commission candidate Harvey Ward. Since the start of January, all of Warren’s contributions have come from individuals.

Her largest expenditures were $811.74 to Alta Systems for postage on mailings and $750 to Helen Strain for campaign management

At-large candidate Barbara Ruth put $100 of her own money toward her campaign in January. Ruth’s campaign had raised $600 through the end of January. Her largest expenditure to date has been the $322.48 candidate qualifying fee.

At-large candidate Donald Shepherd showed $125 in contributions, including $25 from Baird and $100 of his own money. His largest expenditure was $70 for office supplies.

The Supervisor of Elections Office had not yet received campaign contribution reports from candidate Mark Venzke.

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