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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Schrader, Nocco show fundraising prowess



The companies seeking to turn 7,800 acres of central and eastern Pasco into the nation’s first smart gigabit community built from the ground up are throwing their financial support behind Commissioner Ted Schrader in the race for Pasco property appraiser.

Metro Development Group and four affiliated companies bundled a total of $5,000 to Schrader’s campaign on Jan. 11, according to the most recent campaign finance reports. Metro previously bundled $2,500 to Commissioner Jack Mariano’s re-election effort in November 2015.

County commissioners still must approve the connected city corridor, including its transportation network, infrastructure financing and oversight panel. The special planning area, bordered by State Road 52, Interstate 75 and Curley and Overpass roads is a 10-year state pilot project that eases government review in exchange for promoting innovation via job creation, alternative transportation, limiting sprawl or protecting the environment. 

So far, reaction from neighbors living in the vicinity has been largely negative as measured by their public comments at a series of community meetings.

In total, Schrader raised $23,750 in January, bringing his fund-raising total to $58,250. His recently announced opponent, Randy Evans of Trinity, reported just a self-financed $70 in-kind contribution.

Both Republicans want to succeed retiring Property Appraiser Mike Wells Sr. who is leaving office after 20 years. The primary election is Aug. 30.

In other races:

• Wells Sr. contributed $1,000 to the campaign of his former wife, Debbie Wells, one of three candidates for Schrader’s District 1 county commission seat. She doubled her fund-raising total to $14,000 in January, including contributions from former County Commissioner Ed Collins’ company, noted cardiologist/philanthropist Dr. Rao Musunuru, and Saddlebrook Resort CEO Tom Dempsey. 

Rachel O’Connor reported raising no money in January while Ronald Oakley reported raising $5,050.

• Sheriff Chris Nocco, who has no announced opponent, raised nearly $83,000 in the first 19 days of his re-election campaign. The 281 contributions included $31,000, mostly in $1,000 contributions, from sheriff’s officers, civilian employees and their family members. Another 75 sheriff’s employees made $20 and $40 contributions. His support from non-employees included $2,500 bundled from the companies of funeral home director Thomas Dobies.

Completed reports forl District 3 and District 5 county commission candidates were unavailable early Wednesday afternoon. To view the reports in their entirety, go to


[Last modified: Wednesday, February 10, 2016 2:04pm]


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