TAMPA — The latest campaign fundraising reports show mayoral candidate Bob Buckhorn trouncing his competition, posting nearly $50,795 in cash contributions since announcing his candidacy two months ago.
Tampa City Council Chairman Tom Scott, who announced his run more than a year ago, has raised $12,790.
Scott says he's not discouraged about his chances in the March city elections, pointing out when he first ran for the Hillsborough County Commission in 1996, he won even though he had raised only $24,000 and his opponent had at least four times as much.
"The idea of a grass roots campaign, the idea that I'm out touching people, is also very important," he said. It also helps, he said, that he currently holds public office so he has greater visibility than Buckhorn, a former City Council member.
"Bob has to raise that kind of money to show he's a contender because he has not been in office for eight years, and he lost two elections," Scott said.
Buckhorn unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2003. In 2004, he lost a bid for County Commission to Republican Brian Blair.
Support for Buckhorn's second run for mayor comes from a political spectrum that ranges from Republican political consultant Chris Ingram to Democratic state Rep. Janet Cruz.
And in a nonpartisan mayor's race, that would be particularly important.
"People are less concerned about party labels and more concerned about competence," he said. "The early numbers show that vote of confidence comes from every segment of the community, from East Tampa to South Tampa and everywhere in between, and that bodes well for the campaign."
Mayoral candidate Marion Lewis reported no fundraising. A report from another mayoral candidate, Arthur Richardson, was not available Monday.
Hillsborough County Commissioner Rose Ferlita announced her run for mayor last week. Her first report is due in October.
Other reports of note: City Council candidate Tony DeSisto, who's running for the District 4 seat that represents South Tampa, raised $2,645 in the quarter that ended June 30, bringing his campaign total to $25,210.
Julie Jenkins, a travel consultant also running for the District 4 seat, raised $5,006, bringing her campaign total to $16,791.
And Seth Nelson, a lawyer running for the at-large District 3 seat, raised $4,726, bringing his campaign total to $23,755.