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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Democratic CFO candidate raises just $151 in November



The first Democrat challenge incumbent Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater was a disaster, but this new guy has his own set of troubles.

William Rankin, a Fort Lauderdale businessman, faces questions about his resume and recently missed a financial reporting deadline. Now that his November fundraising totals have been posted online, we see there isn't much there.

$151. That's what Rankin raised in cash in November. Of course, that's a six-fold increase from his October haul of $25. He keeps his fledgling campaign afloat using $10,600 he loaned to himself.

Meanwhile, Republican Atwater has $814,756 on hand after raising $235,825 in November.

Rankin filed his paperwork at the beginning of October and announced his candidacy on Oct. 22. He says he is focused on traveling the state and getting to know Democrats around Florida, not raising money.

"There's a lot of time out there," he told the Times/Herald today.

As far as the people questioning his business background and military service, Rankin says he ignores them. "I don't pay any attention to it only because it's not true," he said.

So far, the Florida Democratic Party has left Rankin largely to his own devices. There are no cash or in-kind donations from the party or any political committees tied to Democrats. Since his campaign launched, party leaders haven't said much about Rankin either.

The first Democrat who stepped up to challenge Atwater, Allie Braswell, quit the race after four days following reports of multiple bankruptcies. Democratic Party Chairwoman Allison Tant was panned by Republicans for getting behind a candidate that hadn't been thoroughly vetted.

[Last modified: Thursday, December 12, 2013 11:50am]


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