Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Politics

House District 36 candidates reveal donations in filing reports

NEW PORT RICHEY — The first round of campaign finance reports for candidates in the state House District 36 race were due Friday, showing that Republican Jim Mathieu's campaign took in more than $15,000, including $10,500 in personal loans, while opponent Jeromy Harding raised close to $10,000.

Still unknown is how much Bill Gunter, their rival in Tuesday's primary, raised in donations. Gunter has strong support from Republican leadership in the state House.

The candidates had until midnight Friday to submit their reports to the state's Division of Elections. The so-called SF1 Report details candidates' donations and expenditures, as well as where their contributions originated and whether they came in the form of cash or check.

Amanda Murphy, the only Democrat in the race, eclipsed Mathieu and Harding, collecting more than $38,000 in contributions, the largest coming from the state Democratic Party, which gave $19,500.

The Pasco Democratic Executive Committee kicked in $1,321, but many of Murphy's contributions were in $10, $20 and $50 increments from Pasco residents. Former County Commissioner Michael Cox, a fellow Democrat, gave $500, while Betty Castor, a past state senator and USF president, chipped in $250.

Just one person listed as a Tallahassee lobbyist — Samuel Bell III, a former Democratic lawmaker — contributed to Murphy's campaign. He gave $250.

Mathieu's report shows donations from several lawyers and noted local Republicans, but no lobbyists.

Among the donors were attorney Declan Mansfield, who gave $500; Republican state Committeeman Bill Bunting ($250) and Ronnie Deese, president of the Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club homeowners association. He gave $200.

Port Richey City Council member Nancy Britton gave Mathieu $150. Mathieu is a former Port Richey city attorney.

In contrast, most of Harding's donations came in the form of $10 donations. He received $25 from Michelle Mariano, wife of County Commissioner Jack Mariano. Other notable donations include Sun West Acquisition Corp. and mine operator John Grubb, both of whom gave $500.

Rich Shopes can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 869-6236.

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