Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Incumbent's fundraising trails challenger's in Dunedin mayor's race

DUNEDIN — Statistics have long shown that when it comes to elections, it's typically the incumbent who has the advantage.

But Dunedin's nonpartisan mayoral race has defied science.

Former Mayor Bob Hackworth has surpassed the incumbent, Mayor Dave Eggers, in fundraising. He has about $50,000 to Eggers' $18,370 — a nearly $32,000 divide. Hackworth's total includes $17,800 he loaned himself, while Eggers dropped $500 into his own piggybank.

Hackworth's most recent finance report wasn't available Friday, but the publishing firm owner provided figures indicating he has spent all but about $300 of his funds. His last financial report, filed Oct. 17, showed he had spent more than $15,000 at that point on mailers and postage, $12,500 on polling and consulting services, and $1,823 for signs. He also walked neighborhoods and enlisted volunteers to reach out to absentee voters through phone banking.

Moving this year's election from March to coincide with the November general election has created "an interesting dynamic," Hackworth said. "The resources that are necessary to communicate with all these new voters who don't generally vote during a traditional municipal election means you have to reach three times as many people."

Eggers, who prefers to rely on door-knocking and meet-and-greets, has spent about $11,000, most of it on business cards, two mailers, a campaign flyer, a consultant to help design campaign literature and compile voter lists, and a few hundred signs.

Hackworth has run for city, county and federal office, Eggers said, "so his name's been out there. So as far as name recognition, that certainly evens the playing field. I don't think I have any advantage being the incumbent in this case."

Hackworth was elected to the City Commission in 2002 and served seven years, including one term as mayor, before he went on to run unsuccessfully for Congress and Pinellas County Commission. The Dunedin High graduate says he wants his old job back to fix budgeting, policy and transparency problems he sees at City Hall. Campaign priorities include public safety, low taxes and preserving quality of life.

Eggers, a Dunedin resident since 1988 and commissioner since 2003, succeeded Hackworth as mayor. His campaign has focused on his experience, his team-building skills, and moves by the City Commission as a whole that created cost savings and improved infrastructure. The commercial real estate broker's campaign priorities include fixing flooding problems and warding off overdevelopment.

Eggers raised the least of any 2012 Dunedin candidate, typically receiving smaller individual contributions in the $25 to $50 range. Donors who contributed the $500 maximum allowed by law included Eggers' father; Donald S. Jones, a resident at Mease Manor in Dunedin, where Eggers sits on the board; Sarah Guthrie, board chair of JT Walker Industries, a Clearwater manufacturing company; Gold's Gym; and the Florida Realtors Association, whose Pinellas County arm endorsed Eggers.

Though the city race is nonpartisan, Eggers received maximum contributions from Direct Marketing Southeast, a private company, and the Florida Leadership Fund political action committee, entities controlled by Republican state Sen. Jack Latvala, who also donated $100 under his own name.

Eggers also received support from the owners of several area family-owned businesses.

As of Oct. 17, Hackworth's finance reports showed strong backing from the Florida Professional Firefighters Association and Dunedin Firefighters Association, which donated $250 each, and a combined contribution of $140 from two leaders of the city's fire union. The Dunedin fire union endorsed Hackworth.

Contributors who gave $500 included Commissioner Julie Scales' husband, David Scales; developer Joe Kokolakis; former Commissioner Deborah Kynes, an attorney and Dunedin Fine Art Center advisory board member whose husband, Allen Kynes, also donated $250; and four companies tied to restaurateur Peter Kreuziger.

Several board and advisory members to the Dunedin Fine Art Center also contributed to Hackworth's war chest.

The art center recently asked the city to pitch in $500,000 toward a grant to expand the organization's city-owned building. Also, the city is planning improvements to the Dunedin Marina waterfront, near properties owned by Kreuziger and Kokolakis.

The challenger has also raised more money than the incumbent in Dunedin's race for Commission Seat 3.

As of Friday, political newcomer Heather Gracy's supporters had contributed $22,400 to her campaign. She loaned herself $100 and has spent $21,535.

Commissioner David Carson has raised $21,810 — $10,000 of which he loaned himself — and has spent $16,520.

Keyonna Summers can be reached at (727) 445-4153 or ksummers@tampabay.com. To write a letter to the editor, go to tampabay.com/letters.

. To learn more

In the know

View full treasurer reports for all Dunedin candidates online at DunedinGov.com. Click "Government," then "City Clerk," then "Elections," then "2012 Campaign Treasurer's Reports." Visit http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/article1241796.ece for the Tampa Bay Times coverage of the candidates and city charter referendum questions, and for links to the candidates' websites.

Incumbent's fundraising trails challenger's in Dunedin mayor's race 11/03/12 [Last modified: Saturday, November 3, 2012 3:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rick Baker's debate answer revives painful St. Pete controversy

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG — Former Mayor Bill Foster fired one of his top administrators, Goliath Davis III, six years ago for disobeying an order to attend the funeral of a slain police officer.

    St. Petersburg police officers stand by two caskets before the beginning of the 2011 funeral services for Sgt. Thomas Baitinger and Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz at the First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg. [DIRK SHADD   |  Times]
  2. Plan your weekend July 28-30: Comic Con, Lady Antebellum, Margarita Wars, Tampa's Fourth Friday

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Geek out

    Tampa Bay Comic Con: The fan convention returns to the Tampa Convention Center this weekend, bringing actors Val Kilmer, Kate Beckinsale, Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek's Lt. Uhura), Khary Payton (Ezekiel in The Walking Dead) and the …

    Ibri Day poses for a photo at opening day of the 2015 Tampa Bay Comic Con at the Tampa Convention Center. (Friday, July 31, 2015.) [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  3. Editorial: Trump assaults rule of law by attacking attorney general

    Editorials

    Jeff Sessions was a terrible choice for attorney general, and the policies he has pursued in his brief tenure — cracking down on immigrants, bullying sheriffs, prosecuting low-level offenders to the max — are counterproductive. But the stinging personal attacks President Donald Trump leveled at Sessions this …

    The stinging personal attacks President Donald Trump leveled at Attorney General Jess Sessions this week assault the integrity of the Department of Justice and the rule of law.
  4. Iowa group sues United over death of giant rabbit, Simon

    Nation

    DES MOINES, Iowa — A group of Iowa businessmen filed a lawsuit Wednesday against United Airlines over the death of Simon, a giant rabbit whose lifeless body was discovered in a kennel after a flight from London to Chicago.

    In this May 8, 2017 file photo, attorney Guy Cook speaks a news conference while looking at a photo of Simon, a giant rabbit that died after flying from the United Kingdom to Chicago, in Des Moines, Iowa. A group of Iowa businessmen have filed a lawsuit against United Airlines over the death of Simon. The businessmen filed the lawsuit Wednesday, July 26, 2017, more than three months after airline workers found the continental rabbit named Simon dead. [AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall]
  5. Elderly Brooksville woman dies in Wednesday crash

    Accidents

    BROOKSVILLE — An 87-year-old woman died following a Wednesday morning car crash, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.