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Jim Frishe campaign appears stalled as Mike Twitty sails past $100,000 mark

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Mike Twitty continues to grow his fundraising lead in his campaign for Pinellas County Property Appraiser against former State Representative Jim Frishe. During February, Twitty raised more than $5,000. Frishe raised just $650.

The gap is approaching $70,000 with Twitty bringing in more than $108,000 and Frishe raising just shy of $40,000. What looks even worse for Frishe is the amount of time the candidates have had to raise funds. Frishe entered the race four months before Twitty.

Frishe has had just two strong fundraising months. He raised $13,000 in June and a little less than $11,000 in October. Other than those two months Frishe has posted monthly fundraising totals averaging less than $1,800.

Meanwhile, during seven months of campaigning, Twitty has raised more than $5,000 each month except December when he appears to have taken a break from fundraising. That month Twitty raised just $500. Twitty started out with a bang bringing in more than $50,000 in his first month.

Ignoring December as an outlier, Twitty’s fundraising totals have consistently been dropping. They went down to $20,000 in his second month to $15,000 and then to $10,000. In January Twitty raised more than $7,000 and now he’s down to $5,000.

Regardless, his campaign buying power far outpaces that of Frishe.

Twitty received 13 contributions during the latest finance reporting period. That includes three $1,000 contributions from real estate professional James Holton, Collany Key Development in Tierra Verde, Ed’s Yacht Brokers and Sales also in Tierra Verde.

New York attorney Scott Greenberg and the St. Pete-based Stroud Corporation each donated $500. Contributions of $250 came from two out-of-towners and St. Pete resident Dennis Ruppel. The rest of Twitty’s contributions were for $100 or less.

Frishe brought in six $100 contributions and one for $50. Those came from mostly local sources including James Arnold in St. Pete, John Draheim in Clearwater, Dennis McDonald in Kenneth City, Carol Bumiller in Seminole and Vonda Woods in Tarpon Springs. Leslie Waters Government Relations also contributed. The only out of town contribution came from Jeff Sansom in Cocoa, Florida.

Frishe didn’t spend any money this reporting period suggesting his may be the result of a lull in campaign activity. After last month’s dismal $300 haul, Frishe told SaintPetersblog he’d be getting back to focusing on his campaign soon and had been working on “political” stuff. Frishe has spent $9,700 as of the end of February leaving him with about $30,000 cash on hand.

Twitty spent a little over $1,500 in February. Most of that was for campaign consulting with Poli Solutions Consulting. Twitty also paid for office space, business cards, signs, web ads and credit card fees. He’s spent $13,000 so far in his campaign leaving him with about $95,000 in the bank.

Twitty and Frishe will appear on the August ballot.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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