Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough candidates mostly report modest campaign donations

TAMPA — In another sign the economy remains sluggish in Hillsborough County, political candidates reported modest donations in the latest quarter.

The lone exception, at least in competitive races, was Kevin Beckner, a Democrat seeking re-election to the at-large District 6 seat on the Hillsborough County Commission.

Beckner reported his best quarter to date, bringing in $53,561 — more than his closest Republican competitor has brought in during three quarters of collecting donations. His latest tally brings his total to $171,817. Beckner, who has no opposition in the Aug. 14 primary election, has spent just $23,033.

It's also notable that while Beckner is one of just two Democrats on the seven-member County Commission, he enjoys support from regular donors to local political races who tend to favor incumbents — most of whom have been Republicans in recent years. They include public affairs consultants Pressman & Associates, whose principal, Todd Pressman, tends to back Republicans. They also include the law firms Gray Robinson and Mechanik Nuccio Hearne & Wester, Galaxy Fireworks, and the Mosaic Co., a phosphate producer.

The political action committees for several unions also presented Beckner with the maximum $500 checks.

"I've been working on bread-and-butter issues important to the entire community and not just a political party," Beckner said.

District 6 Republican candidate Margaret Iuculano, an advocate for foster children who has tea party leanings, reported raising $8,245 in her slowest quarter to date. That takes her total to $46,293, which would be a respectable showing for someone seeking a smaller, district-based seat. But she is running countywide, a race in which $50,000 may get a candidate seeking to build name recognition nothing more than two mailers to the most frequent voters.

Iuculano said she is trying to make up for what she lacks in money with aggressive door-to-door campaigning and working seven days a week. So far, most of her contributions appear to be coming from first-time donors who know her or have met her through the campaign, rather than traditional Republican backers who give each election cycle.

"Our votes will come from feet on the streets," Iuculano said. "I think we will raise enough money to run an effective grass roots campaign."

She faces Republican Don Kruse, who has run unsuccessfully for office twice before and just announced his candidacy.

In one of the other few competitive countywide races, the candidates for Hillsborough County supervisor of elections aren't exactly setting records. Democrat Craig Latimer, deputy to current elections chief Earl Lennard, reported his best quarter with $23,269 raised. That takes him to $54,001, and he has spent less than $5,000. But he just learned he'll face a primary challenge from former Tampa City Council member Tom Scott.

Meanwhile, state Rep. Rich Glorioso, R-Plant City, awaits in the general election. However, Glorioso added just $3,950 to his war chest, bringing his total to $31,635, of which he has spent almost nothing. Glorioso was restricted from campaigning last quarter because state law prohibited him from soliciting political campaign donations during the legislative session, which recently ended.

"I expect to kick it up now," Glorioso said.

In other notable races, tea party Republican Sharon Calvert reported $5,950 in her first month or so of campaigning for the District 2 County Commission seat representing parts of northern Hillsborough. Incumbent Republican Victor Crist doesn't appear to be raising cash with great urgency, taking in another $9,650. That brings his total to $31,138, the lowest total of any incumbent commission candidate. He has spent $13,452.

In one closely watched state Senate race, former state Rep. Rob Wallace reported raising just $8,655 in a little more than a month of campaigning to unseat incumbent fellow Republican Jim Norman. Norman took in another $18,700 to bring his total to $177,820. He has spent $73,578. Another Republican, tea party-leaning homeland security consultant John Korsak, raised $11,090 in nearly a full quarter of campaigning.

Hillsborough candidates mostly report modest campaign donations 04/11/12 [Last modified: Thursday, April 12, 2012 12:04am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Hernando County Sheriff's Office: Deputies shoot suicidal woman who brandished shotgun


    BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County Sheriff's deputies shot a woman they believed to be suicidal after she pointed a shotgun at them Sunday, according to a police report.

  2. Trump administration disbands federal advisory committee on climate change


    WASHINGTON - The Trump administration has decided to disband the federal advisory panel for the National Climate Assessment, a group aimed at helping policymakers and private-sector officials incorporate the government's climate analysis into long-term planning.

    President Donald Trump. [Associated Press]
  3. Blake Snell shines as Rays beat Mariners to end skid (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell delivered the best outing of his young career and the Rays offense continued its home run-hitting ways for a 3-0 victory Sunday against the Mariners in front of 13,354 at Tropicana Field.

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) with starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) after the top of the seventh inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  4. No touchdown, but fun lesson for Bucs' Adam Humphries


    It didn't end up being a touchdown, but one of the Bucs' biggest hustle plays in Thursday's win over Jacksonville saw receiver Adam Humphries scoop up a loose ball just before halftime, after what looked like an incompletion but was correctly ruled a Jameis Winston fumble.

    Bucs WR Adam Humphries runs to the end zone with QB Jameis Winston trailing -- his alert play wasn't a touchdown because teammates cannot advance a fumble in the final two minutes of a half.
  5. Bucs' Demar Dotson should be back from injury next week


    The Bucs got good news on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI showed only a mild right groin sprain and should be back at practice next week.

    Bucs tackle Demar Dotson, shown last year when he signed a three-year contract extension, should only miss a week of practice with his groin injury and can return healthy for the Bucs' season opener at Miami in three weeks. [Octavio Jones | Times]