Senate hopeful Gianoulis touts fund-raising numbers
Democratic state Senate candidate Deborah Gianoulis is trumpeting her latest fund-raising totals as the biggest haul of any Senate candidate in the state. From Aug. 20 through Sept. 10, Gianoulis raised $66,000, six times as much as her Republican opponent, Sen. John Thrasher, raised during the same period. The two are going head-to-head in Senate District 8 in Jacksonville and surrounding areas.
Gianoulis, 55, a first-time candidate, was for more than two decades a high-profile evening news anchor on Jacksonville's most-watched television station, WJXT-Channel 4. That position has given her the sort of name recognition that most other candidates can only dream of having.
Thrasher, however, will have all the money he needs. The former House speaker and powerhouse lobbyist was a fund-raising Colossus even before he became chairman of the Republican Party of Florida earlier this year. To date, Gianoulis has raised $157,000 and Thrasher $425,000. Senate District 8 favors the Republicans, but Gianoulis is hoping to pull off an upset by reminding voters that Thrasher was the sponsor of the unpopular teacher tenure and merit pay bill, Senate Bill 6, that Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed.