Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Nehr outpaces McKone in fundraising in House District 48 race

State Rep. Peter Nehr has raised more than five times as much money as his Democratic opponent for the upcoming Nov. 2 showdown for the state House District 48 seat.

Challenger Tom McKone, D-East Lake, says the money is a sign that Nehr, R-Palm Harbor, who is seeking a third term, is beholden to special interest groups.

"He does have a lot of money from special interest groups in Tallahassee," said McKone, 59, a member of the East Lake Fire District Commission. "I'm relying on friends in the district."

But Nehr, 58, shrugs off the claim, saying that it takes money to run an effective campaign. He said he is open to all good ideas, no matter the origin.

"The lobbyists give me money," Nehr said. "The four years I've been in the Legislature, I've had an open-door policy. I listen to both sides of the issues and make a final vote based on what's good for the citizens of Florida.

"I received money from utility companies, and I still proposed legislation that would have forced them to reduce utility rates."

House District 48 includes northern Pinellas County and a small portion of Pasco County.

According to campaign financial reports submitted to the state Division of Elections, Nehr has raised $140,357.08 while McKone has raised $23,534.41.

Nehr, who had two challengers in a Republican primary last month, has spent $93,508.85. McKone had no primary challenger and has spent $16,455.43.

Without more fundraising, that leaves Nehr with $46,848.23 and McKone with $7,078.98 heading into the final six weeks before the Nov. 2 election.

Nehr has loads of $500 contributions with many of them coming from Tallahassee groups such as Council of Florida Family Practice, Florida Association of Behavior Analysis and the Osteopathic Medical Association.

McKone has about a dozen $500 contributions. Several of them have come from union groups such as the Iron Workers Local 397 and the International Union of Operating Engineers.

"He says he's against oil drilling, then he goes and takes money from the oil companies," McKone said.

Money and incumbency usually add up to victory.

"When you combine money and incumbency, the duel advantage, you are all but undefeatable," said Denise Roth Barber, research director for the National Institute on Money in State Politics.

The institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that studies the influence of campaign money on state-level elections and public policy in all 50 states.

In a study that it released in May, the institute found that in the 2007 and 2008 legislative elections, candidates without the incumbency or fundraising advantages had a win rate of just 8 percent.

In Florida, 100 of 101 incumbents who ran, won, for a success rate of 99 percent, the study found. Candidates with the fundraising advantage won 92 percent of the time.

Incumbents were top fundraisers 92 percent of the time, the study found, and everyone with the dual advantage won.

Barber said it was "shocking to have the data show so strongly" the importance of money and incumbency.

"When you ask someone to donate," Barber said, "they are now invested in you and go to the polls fairly committed to you."

Contact Demorris A. Lee at or (727) 445-4174

The money race

Peter Nehr, R-Palm Harbor, has raised $140,357.08 and spent $93,508.85.

Tom McKone, D-East Lake, has raised $23,534.41 and spent $16,455.43.

Source: Campaign finance reports

Nehr outpaces McKone in fundraising in House District 48 race 09/14/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 2:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Kriseman proclaims Buy Local week in St. Pete to quicken storm recovery


    Mayor Rick Kriseman has proclaimed next week to be "'Burg Buy Local Week" in an appeal to residents to help small businesses struggling to recover from Hurricane Irma.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman wants St. Pete residents to help small businesses recover from Hurricane Irma
  2. Only one Hernando County school needs schedule adjustment after Irma


    Hernando County public school students missed seven days of classes because of Hurricane Irma.

    Challenger K-8 School served as a Hernando County shelter during Hurricane Irma. Students returned to classes Monday, and won't need to make up any missed time.
  3. Editorial: Ready to put Irma behind? Maybe it's time to get ready, instead


    One can only marvel now, looking back at the radar image of Hurricane Irma whirling and jerking north between Tampa and Orlando and leaving two of Florida's major population centers with only scattered damage from its high winds.

    A hand-painted sign signals a West Tampa homeowner's resolve as Hurricane Irma approached the Tampa Bay Area on Sept. 10. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA   |   Times]
  4. Investigation launched into HHS Secretary Tom Price's travel on charter jets


    Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price will face an inspector general's investigation into his reported use of chartered jets for at least two dozen flights in recent months at taxpayer expense.

    Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price will face an inspector general's investigation into his reported use of chartered jets for at least two dozen flights in recent months at taxpayer expense. A spokeswoman for HHS Inspector General Daniel R. Levinson told The Washington Post on Friday that the agency will request records of Price's travel and review the justification made by Price and his staff for the trips, which reportedly cost taxpayers a combined $300,000. [Associated Press]
  5. Bucs-Vikings: What if O.J. Howard and Dalvin Cook had both been taken?


    So what if the Bucs had taken neither O.J. Howard nor Dalvin Cook with the 19th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft?