Make us your home page

Bay Buzz

The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sheriff Gee grabs campaign cash while other candidates run hot and cold in Hillsborough




Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee has not attracted any opposition for his reelection bid in November. And it looks like he wants to keep it that way.
Gee raised $215,690 in just his first quarter of collecting money for his campaign. He has spent just $2,047.
His were the most eye-popping figures in disclosure forms that were due Tuesday for the quarter ended Dec. 31. Other incumbents showed more robust money raising while some had surprisingly soft quarters, though the period that covers the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays can be that way.
Democrat County Commissioner Kevin Beckner, facing two active Republican challengers, kicked it up a notch in his countywide reelection campaign, bring his total raised to $118,256. Republican colleague Al Higginbotham, is now just under $100,000 after three quarters of campaigning for a return to his eastern Hillsborough District 4 seat.
Republicans Victor Crist and Sandra Murman, and Democrat Les Miller, each freshman forced to run again after two-year terms, reported more modest sums. Miller leads them with $25,405 after three quarters of campaigning, though Murman and Crist are close behind.
Neither Crist nor Murman has opposition so far and Miller is facing Republican Willie Lee Lawson, who has raised just $485 in race for the central and east Tampa District 3 seat. The district, with its heavy concentration of Democrat voters, is next to impossible for a Republican to win.
Meanwhile, Democrat Craig Latimer and Republican Rich Glorioso, the latter a state representative from Plant City, are nearly neck and neck. However, Glorioso was in just his first quarter of candidacy.
Here’s a rundown of quarterly reports for Hillsborough County non-judicial and non-school board candidates:
* In contrast to David Gee, Tax Collector Doug Belden, who is unopposed, has all but wound down his campaign money raising. He brought in just $1,400 to take his total to $112,470, and has spent just $3,159. He says he doesn’t plan to actively seek more contributions unless he attracts a challenger.
* Property Appraiser Rob Turner, meanwhile, raised just $7,450 to take his total to $10,650 after two quarters. He faces seemingly token opposition from Rob Townsend, who is running without party affiliation and had raised just $650, though he had not yet turned in a report from the most recent quarter.
* Glorioso raised $27,685 in his first quarter of campaigning to replace Supervisor of Elections Earl Lennard. Latimer, Lennard’s second-in-command and a former Sheriff’s deputy, raised $10,505 in his second quarter of campaigning, to take his total to $30,732. Latimer has spent $4,150, while Glorioso has spent $160. A third candidate, Republican Julianne De Priest, brought in just $75.
* Murman raised $22,325 in her first quarter of campaigning for a return to the District 1 seat representing South and West Tampa and parts of eastern Hillsborough on the County Commission. She spent just $47.
* Crist, who represents much of northern Hillsborough in the District 2 commission seat, raised $15,416 in his third quarter of campaigning to take his total to $21,488. He has spent $7,073.
* Miller raised $6,895 in his third quarter of campaigning. He has spent $3,804.
* Higginbotham collected $12,310 to bring his total to $93,495 after three quarters. He has spent $9,041. Democrat political activist Mark Nash has said he is considering whether to challenge Higginbotham, but has yet to formally take action. Voter registration splits heavily favor Republican candidates for the District 4 seat.
* In the most hotly contested campaign, District 6’s Beckner raised $42,810 in the quarter, his fourth of campaigning . He has spent $14,899. Republican Steve Cona raised $9,835 to take his total to $37,178 after two quarters. He has spent $14,984. Margaret Iuculano reported taking in another $10,555 in her second quarter to bring her to $38,048. She has spent $21,675.

[Last modified: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 8:28pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours