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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Hackworth defends fund-raising in Pinellas race

17

June

Democrat Bob Hackworth sent a message to supporters via Facebook on Thursday, defending his fund-raising and once again laying out his argument for unseating Republican Susan Latvala in the District 4 race for County Commission.

"Some have ridiculed my fundraising," Hackworth writes. "Is it a struggle to compete when you turn down the cash that corrupts the system?  You bet it is.  But well over a hundred individuals have contributed to my campaign to date and many more will do so in the future.  Voters are on the lookout for a candidate who doesn’t confuse politics with public service."

Hackworth has raised $12,000 to Latvala's $86,000 through March 31.

As of Thursday evening, Latvala,and two other Republicans,  former Tarpon Springs mayor Beverley Billiris and wine and spirits broker Carl Folkman have qualified, according to the Supervisor of Elections Web site. Hackworth says he has, but the site hasn't been updated to reflect it.

Latvala faces a primary fight before Hackworth runs in the general election.

Full Hackworth message on the jump

David DeCamp, Times staff writer

Bob Hackworth sent a message to the members of Bob Hackworth for Pinellas County Commission.

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Subject: Hackworth Qualifies for Pinellas County Commissioner Race


Today I filed the final paperwork with the Supervisor of Elections making me an official, qualified candidate in race for Pinellas County Commissioner in District 4.  For the first time ever, a Democrat will be on the ballot for this single member seat.   Three Republicans, including the ten-year incumbent, Susan Latvala, will compete in a primary to determine who will run against me in the November 2nd general election.

Polling shows that I have an excellent chance of winning in November.  I am a hard working candidate with political experience, a record on public issues, and a resume of public service and community leadership.

I have taken a principled self-imposed campaign-finance reform stand by limiting my campaign contributions to $100 or less, and I am accepting not a single dime from lobbyist, developers, or special interests with business before the County Commission.

Some have ridiculed my fundraising.  Is it a struggle to compete when you turn down the cash that corrupts the system?  You bet it is.  But well over a hundred individuals have contributed to my campaign to date and many more will do so in the future.  Voters are on the lookout for a candidate who doesn’t confuse politics with public service.  

The incumbent has accepted over a hundred $500 checks and most have come from special interests with business before the county.  Just this week the County Commission awarded a $2.5M contract to a construction company for a road project.  Two $500 checks, one from the owner of that company and one from the business itself, were contributed to Susan Latvala’s campaign.  She moved for the approval, never disclosing the contributions, and while it’s not illegal and it happens all the time, let me ask you this: Which candidate will be the leader who will put an end to “politics as usual” and work every day to try to restore integrity, trust, and confidence in our local government?

My campaign is about proving that the message is more important than the money.  I believe the $10 checks I get from individuals are much more valuable than the $1000 contribution given to my opponent by a special interest.

But to prove it, I’ll need hundreds of $10 checks and only you can help.  My next report is due in July and it will be a real victory if I list more contributors than my opponents - - not more money, just more individual donors.  There are over 550 of you in this group.  Please contribute $10 online now.  Click on the link below and together we can do it!  Bob

[Last modified: Thursday, September 16, 2010 3:40pm]

    

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