Hagan, Higginbotham take early fundraising leads in Hillsborough
Hillsborough County Commission Chairman Ken Hagan hasn't attracted any opposition yet as he seeks a final term on the board in 2014 before having to leave due to term limits. But he's raising money like he expects not to walk through unopposed.
Hagan, a Republican, has brought in $49,175 from 150 donors in his first quarter of campaigning. That's not quite don't-bother-getting-in-this-race money, but it's a decent showing for just more than a month of raising money.
Not surprising for an unabashed pro-development commissioner, much of the money comes from people in the construction or real estate business.
Meanwhile, fellow Republican board member Al Higginbotham has raised just less than that amount as he seeks to move from his District 4 seat representing eastern Hillsborough to the at-large seat that will be vacated by Mark Sharpe. Sharpe, a Republican, must leave due to term limits.
Higginbotham has raised $47,910 from 142 donors, with most of the contributions coming in the final 10 days of the quarter. As with Hagan, many come from development interests but he also has a showing from agricultural and ranching interests, not surprising given the rural nature of parts of his current district.
Higginbotham is facing competition from two Democrats who are sitting office holders.
Tampa City Council member Mary Mulhern has raised $21,080 as she seeks to jump to county office. Mulhern has run for the County Commission before, losing to former board member and Republican Rose Ferlita in a contest for District 1 representing largely South and West Tampa. She then won a City Council seat in 2007. One note: Though Mulhern raised less than half the money Higginbotham did, she had more donors to her campaign.
Meanwhile, Hillsborough County School Board member April Griffin may want to step her game up. She raised just $11,515 from just more than 50 donors in a little more than a month of campaigning.
In the District 4 race to replace Higginbotham, both Stacy White and Rick Cochran declared their candidacies after the end of the quarterly filing period.