Straz rockets past $1 million mark in his run for Tampa mayor–using his own cash as fuel

Tampa mayoral candidate David Straz has promised to spend whatever it takes to win. In his latest campaign filing, he put down a sizable down payment on that vow.
David A. Straz Jr., philanthropist and retired banker, is considering a run for mayor of Tampa. [JAMES BORCHUK  |  Times (2016)]
David A. Straz Jr., philanthropist and retired banker, is considering a run for mayor of Tampa. [JAMES BORCHUK | Times (2016)]
Published Jul. 12, 2018|Updated Jul. 12, 2018

David Straz Jr. has said he'll spend whatever it takes to best a crowded field to become Tampa's next mayor.

In his latest campaign filings this week, the retired banker and philanthropist placed a sizable down payment to back up that vow.

In his June report, Straz reported loaning himself $800,000, putting his total hard-money contributions at $1,064,170.

Straz's campaign didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Straz campaign war chest now dwarfs Jane Castor, who had a commanding lead in a local poll released in May.

The former Tampa police chief has raised $358,561 between her hard-money and political action committee accounts.

Castor's campaign emphasized their candidate collected cash from hundreds of donors, not from writing herself a check.

"I am humbled by the broad support from more than 400 people from neighborhoods and residents across the city that share my vision for stronger neighborhoods and a striving economy–from East Tampa to New Tampa, West Tampa to South Tampa and neighborhoods in between–I thank them in joining me in making Tampa stronger," Castor said in a statement.

Former County Commissioner Ed Turanchik is next at $231,834. He pointed to his individual contribution total for June, which topped Castor: $24, 560 to $20,940. He also leads her in total individual contributions.

Turanchik  said his campaign has already reported investments in polling, videos and other campaign expenditures than others hadn't yet logged.

"So we are in good shape in terms of cash on hand and preparation compared to the other candidates who are not self-funding. Of course, David Straz leads in total dollars and cash on hand due to personal loans and self-funding, which is to be expected," Turanchik said in an email.

Just behind Turanchik is Tampa City Council member Harry Cohen, who has amassed $222,890 between his PAC and individual accounts.

"I'm moving along. Summer is a slow time," Cohen said.

Rounding out the field are City Council member Mike Suarez and small businessman Topher Morrison.

Suarez has netted $87,550 between PAC and hard-money while Morrison has totaled $52,832.

The election is March 5.