Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Politics

Greenlight Pinellas committee raises $37,000 in May

ST. PETERSBURG — The political committee working to ensure the Greenlight Pinellas transit referendum passes raked in more than $37,000 last month.

Several major donors helped Friends of Greenlight Pinellas add another $37,200 to its campaign war chest in May, according to a report filed Friday with the Pinellas Supervisor of Elections.

Health insurer Florida Blue and Tampa-based chain restaurant owner Bloomin' Brands, each donated $10,000. Tindale-Oliver & Associates, a Tampa engineering firm, kicked in $5,000. So did Cox Target Media, the Largo company that owns Valpak. The Tampa Bay Partnership contributed in-kind administrative and accounting services worth $12,575.

To date, Friends of Greenlight Pinellas has raised $530,960, more than half its $1 million goal.

The Greenlight Pinellas plan won endorsements this week from the Greater Tampa and South Tampa chambers of commerce. The Greater Tampa organization gave $2,000 to the Friends last month.

If the referendum passes Nov. 4, Pinellas County's sales tax would increase by 1 cent to fund expansion of bus service and build a 24-mile light rail line between St. Petersburg and Clearwater.

The Tampa chambers said they like the plan because it would bring express bus service to West Shore and downtown Tampa by 2015. Future seven-day-a-week express bus service would link West Shore and downtown Tampa to downtown St. Petersburg, downtown Clearwater and the East Lake area.

No Tax for Tracks, the group opposed to the referendum, raised $1,420 in May, bringing its total to $31,551.

Times staff writer Richard Danielson contributed to this report.

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