Initial Pinellas fund-raising reports: small change -- literally
Ahead of the Monday deadline, some Pinellas County candidates and the local GOP have filed campaign reports -- and they're pretty sparse when it comes to dollars.
County Commissioner Calvin Harris raised $5,475 and spent $200 in his first quarter of fund-raising for the Democrat's re-election. Opponents Norme Roche, this time trying to unseat Harris as a Republican, and Greg Pound, a Constitution Party candidate, haven't reported.
Republican Beverley Billiris of Tarpon Spring raised $7,950 and spent $3,700 for her campaign to unseat County Commissioner Susan Latvala. Latvala hasn't reported her fund-raising for the fourth quarter, but she had amassed $50,000 previously to Billiris's $10,800 at the same time. Carl Folkman, a Republican, hasn't reported, though Republican Ray Brooks brought home $50.
And the Pinellas GOP raised only $6,946 and spent $18,710 -- continuing a trend of lower fund-raising and rising expenses that Republican Chairman J.J. Beyrouti defended as running "perfectly" in the Times six weeks ago. The donations are the lowest in years for the party (h/t here), and the higher spending would cut into cash reserves that Beyrouti put at $70,000 in November.
The Democrats, who had raised a third of the GOP's take entering the fall, haven't reported their contributions for the final three months of 2009.
David DeCamp, Times staff writer