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First-quarter fundraising numbers trickle in from some statewide candidates

EARLY REPORTS OF CANDIDATES' FUNDRAISING

First-quarter 2010 fundraising numbers are trickling in, although candidate reports aren't due until next week. Some early highlights:

Bill McCollum, Republican candidate for governor: $1.4 million.

Adam Putnam, Republican candidate for agriculture commissioner: $280,000.

Jeff Kottkamp, Republican candidate for attorney general: $270,000.

Dave Aronberg, Democratic candidate for attorney general: $260,000.

Dan Gelber, Democratic candidate for attorney general: $325,000.

Still to come, numbers for Alex Sink, the Democratic candidate for governor, and for Republican U.S. Senate candidates Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio. In the latter contest, it's reasonable to predict Rubio for the first time will raise more money than Crist. After all, Crist's advantage has shrunk each quarter, and in the last three months of 2009, Rubio nearly matched Crist, raising $1.75 million to the governor's $2 million.

A mission for each university sought

A Senate Higher Education Committee approved a measure Tuesday that would ask the state Board of Governors to create a distinct mission for each of Florida's 11 universities to help the schools compete nationally. But the bill stopped short of requiring the state to create a flagship school or a tiered system of colleges, a suggestion that might have fueled the rivalry between the University of Florida and Florida State University.

Tax-free holiday may return briefly

The House unanimously passed a shortened back-to-school sales tax holiday on most clothing and school supplies. For clothes priced under $50 and for school supplies less than $10, people wouldn't have to pay state and local sales tax for the weekend of Aug. 13-15. Tough budget times killed the sales tax holiday after 2007. This year's bill would be a $21.3 million hit to state revenue, with local governments losing $4.8 million. "This is the time right now for tax relief for the people of Florida," said Miami Rep. David Rivera, the bill's sponsor. The measure is pending in the Senate.

McCollum suit is challenged

Democratic activist David Schauer says he has filed a Bar complaint against Attorney General Bill McCollum. Schauer is a lawyer who is treasurer of the Pinellas Democratic Party. In filing a lawsuit to overturn the health care overhaul, McCollum acted outside his authority, filed a frivolous lawsuit and has a conflict of interest, Schauer contends.

Times political editor Adam C. Smith; Times/Herald staff writers Robert Samuels and Lee Logan

First-quarter fundraising numbers trickle in from some statewide candidates 04/06/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 6, 2010 10:40pm]
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