DUNEDIN — Just one month into the nonpartisan race to win one of four City Commission seats on the November ballot, a political newcomer has raised more money than three candidates who have up to a decade of experience each.
Commissioners Julie Scales, on the board since 2003, and Julie Ward Bujalski, a commissioner since 2006, are both running to succeed Mayor Dave Eggers, who is seeking a Pinellas County Commission seat.
Deborah Kynes, a nonpracticing attorney who served 10 years on the City Commission from 1999 to 2009, is eyeing the seat being vacated by retiring City Commissioner Ron Barnette.
Bruce Livingston, a community volunteer and retired dental industry businessman making his first run for office, is so far unopposed for Scales' seat.
As of Thursday, the deadline for the first monthly campaign treasurer's report, records showed it was Livingston who raised the most money in March.
He raised $6,629 — mostly in $25 to $250 increments from nearly 30 donors — and spent $854 on bank and mailing expenses.
His contributions include the campaign contribution limit of $1,000 from fellow Salvation Army member Joseph Huenke of Safety Harbor and $750 from William Layman, an orthodontist from Belleair. Livingston loaned himself $1,879.
Kynes accumulated the second-largest war chest, with $5,600 in the bank. That included contributions totaling $1,000 from her husband, C. Allen Kynes Jr.; $500 donations each from her mother and a Ponte Vedra Beach attorney who served with her on the Florida Humanities Council, and $250 from former state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink.
Kynes loaned herself $3,000. She spent $4,367 on campaign filing fees, consultant services and advertising.
Scales' campaign account contained only $1,000 she loaned herself. There were no expenditures.
Bujalski didn't file to run for mayor until April 7, after the March finance report deadline.
Keyonna Summers can be reached at (727) 445-4153 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To write a letter to the editor, go to tampabay.com/letters.