Boosted by dozens of legal-maximum $1,000 contributions from local lawyers and law firms, Republican Hillsborough County State Attorney Suzy Lopez is off to a strong fundraising start in her campaign for election to her appointed office.
In her first three months as a candidate, ending Sept. 30, Lopez raised $86,425 in her campaign account plus $21,400 in an independent committee, Friends of Suzy Lopez.
Almost 70 of the 139 contributions to her campaign came from donors listed as lawyers or law firms, including many for $1,000.
Donors also included $1,000 each from GOP donor and political activist Martin Garcia, his wife and his investment firm; Sheriff Chad Chronister and his wife, Nikki DeBartolo; east Hillsborough lawyer and political activist Clif Curry; prominent Tampa lawyer Ron Christaldi and former State Attorney Mark Ober. Her campaign received a total of $7,000 in contributions from companies associated with personal injury lawyer Christoper Calkin.
The treasurer for Lopez’s campaign and committee is prominent GOP money manager Nancy Watkins.
Lopez’s largest campaign expenditure so far has been $15,000 for campaign consulting to the firm of Tampa Republican political operative Anthony Pedicini, known for slashing attack ads often veiled behind shell political committees.
But Lopez said via email the firm only did initial work for the campaign, and her consultants will be James Blair, Ryan Smith and Erica Ulmer.
“Support has been overwhelming as our campaign gets underway,” Lopez said. “I am humbled and proud to have raised over $100,000.”
Lopez was appointed to the office last year by Gov. Ron DeSantis after he removed former Democratic State Attorney Andrew Warren from the office. Warren, who has since become a celebrated cause for local Democrats, recently opened a re-election campaign account but says he’s not certain he will run. He hasn’t yet filed a campaign fundraising report.