Incumbent Ken Peluso, who’s running for re-election to the District 4 seat on the Pinellas School Board, is the fundraising winner.
But Peluso is not the big spender. That distinction goes to Matt Stewart, who’s running against three other candidates for the District 1 At-Large seat.
With one day to go before casting final votes, here’s how the fundraising and spending have gone in the races for the three open seats on the School Board.
Four candidates are vying for the District 1 At-Large seat. There is no incumbent for the seat. Janet Clark is not running for re-election. Seat 1 is countywide, and all voters can cast a ballot. School Board races are nonpartisan.
In the race for the District 1 At-Large seat, Stewart is both the fundraising winner and the candidate who has spent the most so far. Stewart, a deputy director for Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections and adjunct professor at St. Petersburg College, is making his first run for public office.
According to the latest figures in the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Office, Stewart has raised $26,100. He’s spent most of it — $24, 509.07. The bulk of that — $19,501.37 — was spent in July with Mad Dog Mail of Fernandina Beach for production and postage.
Political veteran Bill Dudley isn’t far behind. The former St. Petersburg City Council member and longtime teacher and coach has raised $22,671.85 and spent $18,126.37. He, too, spent most of his money in July with a $11,759.99 payment to Gulf Coast Imprinting of Largo for postage,
Joanne Lentino, a first-grade teacher at Gulfport Elementary School, is making her first run for public office. She’s raised $20,350 and spent $17,131.90. She spent $5,290.10 in July with SonicPrint of Tampa for printing and mailing. This month, she spent another $3,653.87 with SonicPrint.
The fourth candidate, Robert J. Beal, announced earlier this month that he would not run a vigorous campaign because he wants to devote more time for his daughter. He made the announcement days after coming under fire for comments made on his Twitter account.
Beal has slightly overspent his account. According to figures with the election’s office, he has raised $2,400 and spent $2,423.23. The expenditures for August include $275 to William Cornelius Beal of Seminole who was “paid for time he put into the campaign.”
In the District 4 race, Peluso is facing a challenge from first-time candidate Eileen Long. The District 4 seat covers northern Pinellas including Tarpon Springs, East Lake and Palm Harbor. Only voters who live in District 4 can cast a ballot.
Peluso, a retired chiropractor, has raised $33,000. He’s spent $16,440.60. The bulk of that — $9,506.59, went to Gulf Coast Imprinting for design, printing and postage.
Long, a retired teacher, has $10,647.30 and spent $9,565.97. Of that, $2,524 went for ads in the Beacon newspaper.
In the race for the District 5 seat, incumbent Carol Cook is facing a challenge from first-time candidate Eliseo Santana and real estate broker/insurance agent Mike Petruccelli. Petruccelli serves on the Indian Shores Town Council. District 5 covers parts of central Pinellas, including portions of Clearwater and Largo. Only voters who live in District 5 can cast ballots in the race.
Cook is leading the pack in fundraising. She’s amassed $17,450.74 and has spent $14,533.90. The majority of her spending, $6,057.77, went to Gulf Coast Imprinting.
Santana has raised $14,649. He’s spent most of it — $13,937.90. He’s spent $1,355.75 this month on radio advertising.
Petruccelli has raised $10,855.82. He’s paid $7,845.61. He’s spent $2,754 this month on newspaper ads.
The polls will be open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.