In Pasco schools race, Kurt Browning dominates Heather Fiorentino in fundraising

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Just seven weeks after announcing his candidacy, Kurt Browning is proving a formidable foe for Pasco schools superintendent Heather Fiorentino in one of the county’s most-watched races.

The former elections supervisor raised almost three times as much money in campaign contributions as the two-term incumbent in the first quarter of the year. He also claimed some of her past supporters along the way.

“It boils down to leadership,” said Browning, who collected $48,707 in his first round of campaign events. “My approach and my style are collaborative. I am not afraid of other peoples’ ideas. That sums it up.”

Fiorentino, who brought in $17,349, said she wasn’t concerned about the challenge. She’s seen tougher, she said, noting that she squeaked out a win in 2004 against Chuck Rushe even though he outraised her by $40,000 and had outgoing superintendent John Long in his corner.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, 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.