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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rice well ahead in Pinellas sheriff fundraising



Pinellas sheriff hopeful Everett Rice is far-outpacing his competitors in campaign contributions, according to the latest filings with the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections.

At the end of the most recent reporting period, which went through Dec. 31, former Sheriff Rice reported total contributions of $205,000. Current Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, who was appointed to take over last fall when outgoing Sheriff Jim Coats resigned, reported $122,700 in funds raised during the same three-quarter period. Fellow Republican and former police union president Tim Ingold has brought in $18,000 over the last two quarters.

Rice and Gualtieri were neck-and-neck in fundraising in the spring, with both reporting about $70,000 raised between April 1 and June 30. But Rice made huge strides over the summer, reporting about $94,000 in contributions, compared to Gualtieri's $33,000. Both dropped off toward the end of the year, typical as campaigns head into the holiday season, with Rice posting $40,000 in the last quarter and Gualtieri reporting about $19,000.

Democratic candidate Randy Heine, a Pinellas Park shop owner who supports the legalization of marijuana, reported $31,000 in total contributions over three quarters. Democratic competitor Scott Swope, an attorney and former deputy, reported about $8,875, though he didn't file until September, so reported for the last two quarters only.

[Last modified: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 6:44pm]


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