Having already raised $1M for Jax mayor race, Lenny Curry seeks to unite GOP

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With a highly successful fundraising run, former Republican Party of Florida chair Lenny Curry raised more than $1 million since entering the Jacksonville mayor race in June.

Curry’s performance outpaced the previous record holder, former Mayor John Peyton, who took in a three-month haul of $862K in 2006.

Collecting $1,004,679, Curry demonstrated his desire to unite the city’s diverse — and fractious – network of Republican donors, writes Nate Monroe in the Florida Times-Union.

“There’s no denying when you see these numbers that Lenny Curry has gotten off to an extraordinary start in fundraising,” says  Jacksonville University Public Policy Institute director Rick Mullaney, a 2011 Republican candidate for mayor.

“Together for a Greater Jacksonville,” the political action committee aligned with Curry, raised $286,000 last month, bringing its total to $694,100. Curry added $63,646 in direct contributions in August, according reports from his campaign, for an overall total of $310,579.

Curry will need the money as he faces incumbent Democratic Mayor Alvin Brown, who also raised more than $1.5 million so far, with another $73,000 in August by “Taking Jacksonville to the Next Level,” his political action committee. Brown’s August direct campaign numbers are still pending.

Both curry and Brown are the leaders in the Jacksonville money race. Republican City Councilman Bill Bishop, only raised $40,870 through July.

“People want to see the city with new leadership,” Curry told the Florida Times-Union about his fundraising momentum.

Among Curry’s local donors: former Jaguars owners Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver with $25,000 check, and $50,000 from Jacksonville businessman Peter Rummell — after he and his wife gave Curry $50,000 in June.

Giving $25,000 checks each were Pentagon Properties and Hutson Companies LLC., a major community developer and landowner.

West Palm Beach-based Florida Crystals donated $2,500; Southern Gardens Citrus, associated with U.S. Sugar Corp., also gave $1,000.

Curry’s campaign added that many direct contributions came from first-time and political contributions, with about $55,000 coming through the campaign website.

Curry’s fundraising “sends a very strong message,” Mullaney said.

“It makes it more difficult for others to get in the race. At least, it makes it more intimidating,” he added.

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.