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Zephyrhills incumbent has funding lead

(ran PC edition)

In the race for Seat 5 on City Council, incumbent Mike Bussell is well ahead of challenger Celia Graham in raising campaign cash.

According to financial reports filed last week, Bussell has raised $1,040. Graham has $120 in her account, all of it from contributions she made herself. Both have received more donations since the reports were filed.

Bussell has taken in several $100 contributions from businesses such as Ryman Construction, Ryman Homes and John's Steak and Seafood Restaurant. Gold Medallion Homes, owned by Realtor Bob Kelly, gave $200.

Bussell said Tuesday he has spent some money on campaign signs and advertising in the Zephyrhills News, his former employer. He obtained lists of new voters and voters in the past two municipal elections. He said he plans to send a mailing.

Saturday's Founders Day parade was his first stop on the campaign trail. Bussell rode in a 1957 Thunderbird with his 7-year-old grandson and threw beads to the crowd.

Graham also participated in the parade and will attend an AARP dinner Tuesday.

She said she received $300 from one person this week and a "small check" from another but declined to give the names.

She said she spent some of the money on campaign signs.

Both Bussell and Graham plan to campaign door-to-door.

Candidates must file campaign financial reports every two weeks until the April 8 elections.

_ Molly Moorhead covers news about Zephyrhills. She can be reached at (352) 521-5757 or toll-free 1-800-333-7505, ext. 6108, then 29. Her e-mail address is