Here’s where sh*t stands – the ‘who raised how much for their local campaign’ edition

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Campaign treasurers’ reports for the last quarter of 2011 were due on Tuesday, so we’re now able to get a look at who raised how much for their local campaign.  Taking a look at these reports, courtesy of this handy summary from On 3 PR, here’s what I’m seeing:

In the race to succeed Mike Fasano in the Florida Senate, John Legg has outraised Wilbur Simpson for the second straight quarter, $35,246 to  $19,650.  Mind you, Simpson still holds an overall and cash-on-hand advantage, but since the redistricted maps for how the Senate’s districts were unveiled, the momentum has been moving to Legg. Also, Simpson consultant Brett Doster may just have his hands full running the statewide operation for Mitt Romney.

Jim Frishe raised another $44,325 for his State Senate campaign, one of the best hauls of any legislative candidate in Tampa Bay. few candidates had a better December than Frishe as he saw possible opponents Charlie Justice, Darryl Rouson and Leslie Waters all take themselves out of the race.

By the way, the 44K Frishe raised is not the number to focus on, it’s the $368,000 Jack Latvala has raised for three political committees to which he is connected.  If a new challenger to Frishe were toemerge, they can count on a lot of the money in those committees — and then some — finding their way into the race.

Not that Frishe’s path to victory ever depended on him having the fattest bank account.  When he ran against Rod Jones in 2006, Frishe was vastly outspent and still ended up winning handily.

By the way, did you catch Latvala’s defense of why he’s raised all that money?

“Obviously, I use that to help people who think the way I think up here,” said Latvala.


One of those people who tends to think the way Latvala thinks is Jim Norman, who picked up over $62K for his re-election effort.  Despite all the controversy surrounding Norman, he is becoming increasingly difficult to defeat in 2012.

The race to succeed Paula Dockery in the Florida Senate sure is low-key, at least when it comes to fundraising.  Between both Jack Myers and Kelli Stargel, the two candidates combined to raise less than $25K.

It pays to be one of the two legislators in charge of crafting the state’s budget.  House budget chief Denise Grimsley raised just under $90K during the fourth quarter, bringing her overall total to $729,855 – far and away the biggest campaign coffer of all legislative candidates.  Grimsley has already spent $ 110,999. By the way, she is running opposed in her bid to succeed JD Alexander in the Florida Senate.

Rep. Rick Kriseman raised $7,175 — just enough money to confuse me.  Seven grand is not enough for him to start thinking about jumping into the Senate race against Jim Frishe.  And it’s not enough to scare off a Republican from challenging him.  But it is enough to suggest he’s going to run for re-election, regardless of whether he runs for Mayor of St. Petersburg.  Of course, Kriseman could transfer all of the money he’s raised for his State House race into a campaign for Mayor.

While Jeff Brandes raised another $25K, leaving him with over one hundred grand in the bank, his Democratic opponent, Bill Nobles,  raised just $20 during the last three months of 2011. $20! And it’s not like Nobles isn’t campaigning, at least if you go by his Facebook page. Twenty bucks in perhaps the mot competitive State House race in the state.  That’s embarrassing.

Pinellas sheriff hopeful Everett Rice is far-outpacing his competitors in campaign contributions, according to the latest filings with the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections, notes Rita Farlow.

At the end of the most recent reporting period, which went through Dec. 31, former Sheriff Rice reported total contributions of $205,000. Current Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, who was appointed to take over last fall when outgoing Sheriff Jim Coats resigned, reported $122,700 in funds raised during the same three-quarter period. Fellow Republican and former police union president Tim Ingold has brought in $18,000 over the last two quarters.

Rice and Gualtieri were neck-and-neck in fundraising in the spring, with both reporting about $70,000 raised between April 1 and June 30. But Rice made huge strides over the summer, reporting about $94,000 in contributions, compared to Gualtieri’s $33,000. Both dropped off toward the end of the year, typical as campaigns head into the holiday season, with Rice posting $40,000 in the last quarter and Gualtieri reporting about $19,000.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.