Incumbent Susan Latvala builds biggest war chest
While Pinellas County Commissioner Susan Latvala has been on the receiving end of three opponents' critiques on county overspending, she has built a large financial advantage heading into the Aug. 24 primary.
Latvala has raised $103,400, and spent $40,500. It leaves her with almost $63,000 on hand as of July 18, according to finance reports. That's after refunding Clear Channel $500 in July because the company is asking the County Commission for less restrictions on digital billboards. Democrat Bob Hackworth has assailed her fundraising with groups that do business with the county, noting on Twitter the refund. Said Latvala, "I don’t want to give Hackworth any ammunition."
But more urgently, her primary opponents lack financial ammunition. Former Tarpon Springs Mayor Beverley Billiris has $5,300 on hand of the $24,650 she has raised. Wine and spirits broker Carl Folkman has $180 from the $12,560 he raised.
By the way, Hackworth -- operating under a self-imposed $100 maximum contribution -- has raised $32,750 and spent $10,750.
The next report is due Aug. 6.
David DeCamp, Times staff writer