Oakley sends $150,000 to his Pasco commission race
In December, Pasco County Commission candidate Ron Oakley said he had no intention of self-financing his second run for the District 1 commission seat based in east Pasco.
He apparently changed his mind.
Campaign finance reports show Oakley contributed $150,000 to his campaign on May 31. Four years ago, he spent $176,000 of his own money in finishing second in a three-way, winner-take-all Republican primary for the seat held by incumbent Commissioner Ted Schrader.
Schrader, however, is not seeking re-election and is running for Pasco property appraiser. In a December interview, Oakley said it should be easier to raise money for an open seat and he didn’t plan to commit is own resources as he did in 2012.
Friday morning, after inquiries from the Tampa Bay Times, Oakley issued a statement about his latest financial report.
“I’m running to represent the people of Pasco County. As we continue to meet with voters and they hear our campaign message, they are joining our team. With this contribution, I’m demonstrating our commitment to carry our campaign message directly to the residents of Pasco County,’’ the statement said.
Oakley also said he was humbled by the financial support of others. His personal contribution brings his campaign account to more than $208,000 with more than $193,000 still unspent.
Republican Debbie Wells, former wife of retiring Property Appraiser Mike Wells Sr., has raised nearly $66,000 and spent $26,500. Republican Rachel O’Connor, who also ran in 2012, has raised $23,300 and spent close to $6,000. The GOP primary is Aug. 30.
No-party candidate Dimitri Delgado had not filed an updated finance report as of early Friday afternoon. His report for May showed $550 in contributions. If he qualifies later this month, Delgado will meet the winner of the Republican primary in November.