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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sean Shaw outraises rest of field by more than 3-to-1 in House District 61

11

July

State House candidate Sean Shaw raised $34,600 in the second quarter of the year, bringing his total campaign treasury to $64,575 — more than triple the total posted by the next closest candidate in the four-way Democratic primary for House District 61.

“I’m just happy we’re getting a lot of support, and I’m happy that we’ve got a lot of momentum behind us,” Shaw said Thursday.

Shaw, 35, is an attorney who served as Florida's Insurance Consumer Advocate and is the son of retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Leander J. Shaw Jr. His contributions averaged about $338 each (the maximum allowed is $500), and his contributor list includes former Florida CFO and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Alex Sink, who gave $500. Shaw, who held a June 19 fundraiser at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, raised more than 79 percent of his money outside of Hillsborough County. He described fundraising as one component of a successful campaign and said he would soon begin walking the district to collect signatures to quality by petition.

“I get a sense that people want to meet you, see you at an event or get a knock on their door,” he said. “That’s what I intend to do.”

Ed Narain raised a total of $19,535 during his first quarter as a candidate. Narain, 36, works as an area manager for AT&T, volunteers for community organizations serving children and young people and served as student body president at the University of South Florida.

Narain said his fundraising exceeded his goals and said he was heartened that contributions came in from people in all walks of life. His contributions averaged about $128 each, with nearly 45 percent of his money coming from outside Hillsborough.

Narain said he did not find Shaw’s fundraising lead a cause for concern.

“Money doesn’t vote; people do,” Narain said. “I believe the community is going to have a very good choice on its hands … All the money in the world isn’t going to win anybody an election. Elections aren’t for sale,  people aren’t for sale, the district is not for sale.”

Former Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee vice chairwoman Sharon Carter, 48, has raised a total of $975. Community activist Tatiana Denson, 34, has raised $73 and given her campaign a loan of $1,000.

With incumbent state Rep. Betty Reed, D-Tampa, leaving because of term limits, the vacancy in District 61 is expected to draw a healthy roster of contenders since it represents one of the few go-to seats for black candidates in Hillsborough County. The district includes Tampa Heights, Seminole Heights and Temple Crest. Black voters account for a little more than 50 percent of its registered voters and nearly two-thirds of its Democrats.

[Last modified: Thursday, July 11, 2013 2:42pm]

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